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Diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovered? Here’s a chance to contribute to pandemic fight

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – If you’ve been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus and have recovered, you can help researchers find a potential treatment for the disease.

Grifols, one of the leading producers of plasma-based medicines, is expanding its plasma collection program in North Carolina and beyond. The goal is to develop an immunoglobulin that can treat COVID-19.

The Spanish company is accumulating plasma from recovered coronavirus patients. It will use that blood product, with its naturally occurring antibodies and memory cells that multiply their production, to make hyperimmune globulin. The medicine is rich in COVID-19 antibodies that will hopefully kick current patients’ immune systems into high gear to fight the infection.

Grifols will produce the plasma-based product at its large manufacturing center in Clayton. The company has invested close to $1 billion at the site since coming to North Carolina in 2011.

Hyperimmune globulin isn’t a vaccine, which stimulates the development of immunity before a patient becomes ill. But it can potentially help sick patients fight the virus by fueling an immune response.

“For individuals who’ve recovered from COVID-19, donating plasma is a great way to make a difference during this exceptional time,” said Gavin Lindberg, Grifols’ senior director of corporate affairs.

He said the company is collecting convalescent plasma from eligible COVID-19 survivors through partnerships with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Grifols currently has close to 230 collection centers around the country, including these 13 in North Carolina.

If you’re interested in making a plasma donation, visit the Grifols website or call 1-866-END-CV19 for more information. Potential donors must be between 18 and 69 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. They should have a nasal or blood test that confirms they’ve contracted COVID-19, and be symptom-free for 28 days.

They also are required to live within 150 miles of a convalescent plasma collection center. Grifols says it continues to expand the number of plasma centers in the Tar Heel state and posts regular updates. So if there’s not one currently in your area, there soon could be.

Grifols was founded in 1909 in Barcelona, Spain. It develops plasma-based therapies to treat chronic, rare and sometimes life-threating conditions.

The company has more than 24,000 employees worldwide. It lists its class A shares on the Spanish Stock Exchange. Non-voting class B shares appear on the U.S. NASDAQ through American Depositary Receipts.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire