Australia's largest listed company CSL (ASX: CSL) has teamed up with Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and several international companies to develop a potential hyperimmune therapy for Covid-19.
The alliance formed by CSL Behring and Takeda to work on plasma-derived therapy for the virus now also includes Biotest, BPL, LFB and Octapharma.
Work will start immediately on the investigational development of an unbranded anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin medicine, which will be aimed at treating individuals with serious complications from Covid-19.
"Leaders lead during uncertainty. There is no question that we are all experiencing the impact of Covid-19," says CSL Behring executive vice president and head of research and development, Bill Mezzanotte.
"This effort aims to accelerate a reliable, scalable and sustainable option for caregivers to treat patients suffering from the impact of Covid-19.
"In addition to pooling industry resources, we will also collaborate with government and academic efforts as a single alliance whenever we can, including important activities like clinical trials. This will make it more efficient in these hectic times for these stakeholders as well."
The collaboration will leverage leading-edge expertise and work that the companies already have underway. Experts from the alliance will begin collaborating across key aspects such as plasma collections, clinical trial development and manufacturing. Further companies and institutions may join the alliance as well.
"Unprecedented times call for bold moves," says Takeda's plasma-derived therapies business unit president Julie Kim.
"We collectively agree that by collaborating and bringing industry resources together, we could accelerate bringing a potential therapy to market as well as increase the potential supply. We invite companies and institutions focusing on plasma to support or join our alliance," says Kim.
Developing a hyperimmune will require plasma donation from many individuals who have fully recovered from Covid-19, and whose blood contains antibodies that can fight the novel coronavirus.
Once collected, the "convalescent" plasma would then be transported to manufacturing facilities where it undergoes proprietary processing, including effective virus inactivation and removal processes, and then is purified into the product.
Updated at 9:21 AEST on 7 April 2020.
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