Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Trials Underway in Detroit For Potential COVID Antibody Treatment

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Image credit: Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Wayne State University and Johns Hopkins researchers are studying the use of convalescent blood plasma as a potential coronavirus treatment.

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With the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and throughout much of the country, Detroit Today’s coverage about this moment of the pandemic is a top priority.

There’s reason to be at least cautiously hopeful about the recent news of potential vaccines for the virus, but there’s still a real need for continued research for alternative treatments. One such effort involves the use of convalescent blood plasma through trials being led locally by Wayne State University and Johns Hopkins researchers.

Listen: Convalescent blood plasma could be a cost-effective way to treat COVID-19 and an ongoing trial to prove it is seeking Detroit participants.


Dr. James Paxton is the leader of the Detroit branch of the trial. He’s also the Director of Clinical Research for Detroit Receiving Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine, and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine.

He explains that convalescent blood plasma therapy is really just using antibodies found in the blood of people who have previously had COVID-19. He says, ”Antibodies are essential to fighting any infection… and your body retains the antibodies so that it can remember how it defeated [the virus] before in case it needs to defeat it again in the future.”

Paxton says that his work at the Detroit trial site involves matching processed plasma with those who need to receive it. “We think it will work,” he says of the plasma transfusion pointing to the history of this kind of medical intervention.

Individuals interested in participating in the trial can go online to covidplasmatrial.org or call 888-506-1199 to learn more about the trial and to participate. 

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This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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