Coronavirus Blood Plasma Treatment Under Development

Takeda Pharmaceutical TAK-888 is a potential anti SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal H-IG treatment
blood plasma depiction

A Japan-based pharmaceutical company announced it is initiating the development of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) to treat high-risk individuals infected with COVID-19 disease.

Plasma-derived therapies are essential for treating patients with a variety of rare, life-threatening, complex and genetic diseases for which there are few or no other treatment options.

Additionally, Takeda Pharmaceutical said in a press release published on March 4, 2020, it has the expertise to research, develop, and manufacture a potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal H-IG, which is referred to as TAK-888.

Takeda is currently in discussions with multiple national health and regulatory agencies and health care partners in the US, Asia, and Europe to expeditiously move the research into TAK-888 forward. 

This requires access to source plasma from people who have successfully recovered from COVID-19 or who have been vaccinated, once a vaccine is developed. 

These convalescent donors have developed antibodies to the virus that could potentially mitigate the severity of illness in COVID-19 patients and possibly prevent it.

H-IG are plasma derived-therapies that have previously been shown to be effective in the treatment of severe acute viral respiratory infections and may be a treatment option for COVID-19.

H-IG works by concentrating the pathogen-specific antibodies from plasma collected from recovered patients or vaccinated donors in the future. 

By transferring the antibodies to a new patient, it may help that person’s immune system respond to the infection and increase their chance of recovery. 

Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, President of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Unit and co-lead of the company’s COVID-19 response team, said in the press release, “We have identified relevant assets and capabilities across the company and are hopeful that we can expand the treatment options for patients with COVID-19 and the providers caring for them.”

Because the plasma needed for TAK-888 is unlikely to come from current plasma donors, Takeda will initially produce the therapy in a segregated area within its manufacturing facility in Georgia, and development and production of it should not negatively impact Takeda’s ability to produce its other plasma-derived therapies.

In addition, Takeda is exploring whether select marketed therapies and molecules in its drug library could be viable candidates for the effective treatment of COVID-19. These efforts are at an early stage but being given a high priority within the company.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines.

Coronavirus treatment development news is published by Precision Vaccinations.