CM Uddhav Thackeray grants Rs 16.65 crore to Maharashtra plasma therapy trial

Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 08:07 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Launches largest ever convalescent plasma therapy trial - Project Platina - for severe COVID-19 patients

Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray

Project Platina, the largest ever convalescent plasma therapy trial for severe COVID-19 patients, was launched by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday.

The CM also granted financial assistance of R16.65 crore to the project by the state medical education department, in which about 500 patients will undergo trial. The treatment is free of cost. "All critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml convalescent plasma. The plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients contains antibodies that fight the infection," said a note from the government about the trial.

In May, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had allowed 28 institutions across the country to conduct convalescent plasma trials, but excluded co-morbid patients with coronary artery diseases, heart failure, and arrhythmia from the trials. In Maharashtra, a couple of dozen patients gave encouraging results at BYL Nair Hospital (Mumbai), BG Medical Hospital (Pune), and Government Medical Colleges in Nagpur and Kolhapur. The large scale trial will help formulate definite treatment guidelines for the country in managing serious patients, said the department, which also wants to isolate monoclonal antibodies from the plasma to explore the possibility of producing them artificially.

The facilities erected for COVID-19 treatment will also provide the medical colleges with infrastructure to collect plasma samples for treatment of dengue, snake bites etc.

What the trial entails

. At least 21 medical colleges including five in Mumbai will be involved

. Nagpur's Government Medical College will lead the project spread across government and civic medical colleges in state

£ The state medical education department claims it is the world's largest plasma trial for COVID-19

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