MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Monday launched project PLATINA, the World's largest convalescent plasma therapy trial-cum-project in the treatment of severe Covid-19 patients.
The project was launched by the state Medical Education and Drugs Department after the necessary approvals. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has allocated Rs. 16.85 crore for the project through CM Cares Fund.
Thackeray inaugurated the project in the presence of state ministers Balasaheb Thorat, Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Rajesh Tope.
According to the health department, convalescent plasma therapy is now being considered as one of the most important methods in the treatment of severe Covid-19 patients in the absence of definite treatment drugs for the same. It will be the world's largest trial-cum-treatment project, wherein the state intends to benefit and save around 500 lives of critically-ill Covid-19 patients.
"The trial will be carried out in 17 government medical colleges and four BMC medical colleges (21 centres). All critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml of convalescent plasma under the project," said Thackeray.
He said that the entire plasma therapy treatment will be free of cost to all the patients admitted to the above facilities. "The donors are available in large numbers and have no weakness whatsoever after plasma donation as RBC are returned back to the patients. The PLATINA trial will be the world's largest and will give robust data regarding the role of convalescent plasma in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. It will help us issue guidelines in the management of Covid pandemic," Thackeray added.
He said, "We also intend to take this study further and isolate MONOCLONAL antibodies from this plasma and study its structure and possibly produce it in an artificial form. As a collateral benefit, this will create an infrastructure of plasmapheresis in all medical colleges which will cater to the collection of FFP, SDP in treatment of dengue, snakebites, etc," the CM added.