US NIH Halts Trial Testing COVID-19 Blood Plasma

(Reuters) — The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday it had halted a trial testing convalescent blood plasma in treatment of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.

The NIH said an independent data monitoring board found that the plasma was unlikely to benefit this group of patients.

Launched in August 2020, the Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma of Outpatients (C3PO) was being conducted at 47 hospital emergency departments across the United States and had enrolled 511 of the 900-participant recruitment goal, the NIH said in a news release (https://bit.ly/3rbOIdh).

A recent analysis indicated no significant difference in the proportion of patients who needed emergency treatment, had to be hospitalized or died within 15 days of entering the trial, NIH said.

The health agency’s move comes less than two months after an international trial of convalescent plasma was halted as no benefit was found. Other studies conducted in India and Argentina have also found no apparent benefit for those severely ill with the disease.

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