THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when Kerala is expecting a fresh wave of Covid-19 transmission, six health institutions have applied for the convalescent plasma therapy trials. The institutions include four in public sector and two in private sector. According to the health department, applications submitted by these institutions are under active consideration of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and a decision is expected soon. Under convalescent plasma treatment, antibodies from the blood of those who fought off SARS-CoV-2 will be isolated and injected into a patient who is infected. It is expected that the antibodies will stimulate the sick patient’s immune system to better fight the disease.
The institutions which have applied from the state for becoming a part of the convalescent plasma therapy trial, more commonly known as the PLACID trial, are Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode medical colleges, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Malabar Cancer Centre, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Kochi, and Baby Memorial Hospital, Kozhikode.
“The PLACID trial is a multi-centre clinical trial initiated by the ICMR. The sample size of the study is 452. Earlier, ICMR had invited expression of interest from centres capable of undertaking the study. Though 113 institutions responded, ICMR on Friday approved 28 institutions for the PLACID trial,” said an official of the health department.According to the official, though not a single institution from Kerala figures in the approved list, six of them have been included in the consideration list.
According to ICMR, as it is considered that the use of convalescent plasma will improve the clinical outcomes in patients with moderate Covid-19 infection, a random controlled trial is needed to assess its efficacy and safety. The participation of patients will be based on written consent.Meanwhile, it is pointed out that the state’s chance for getting approval for a clinical trial is limited as the number of active cases went down drastically. Though the state reported over 500 positive cases of Covid-19, it registered a recovery rate of around 94 per cent.