July 1, 2020

COVID-19, a European project will study the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment


To ensure the protection of EU public health by promoting best practices on collection and use

The European Commission just announced it has positively evaluated the project submitted by a Consortium of European blood establishments and competent authorities which will assess if plasma from former COVID-19 patients may be a clinically validated therapy to COVID-19 patients. The SUPPORT-E (SUPPORTing high quality evaluation of COVID-19 convalescent Plasma throughout Europe) project main goal is to provide support to high quality clinical evaluation of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) and to achieve a consensus on the appropriate use of CCP in the treatment of COVID-19 across EU Member States. In this context, the recently established EU-CCP database will be instrumental to achieve this purpose.

Ultimately, the Consortium will put forward evidence-based recommendations to be applicable throughout Europe in the current and future epidemiological outbreaks.

The Grant Agreement preparation has started and the European Blood Alliance (EBA) will be the project coordinator, as the unique association of not for profit Blood Establishments (BEs), with 26 members throughout the European Union and EFTA States that overall manage 17 million blood donations per year.

Several clinical trials are attempting to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma treatment – recall the proposers of the project – but up to now there has been no coordinated approach to support and harmonise protocols, produce guidelines, standardise the tests for the characterisation of CCP and validate the overall outcome of the therapy.

Through the collection and analysis of data on donors, plasma use and patients, the project will also serve as basis for further research, for example on the use of plasma for Covid-19 prophylaxis or on the production of specific immunoglobulin.

The project will support high quality clinical evaluation and where selected CCP clinical trial groups are considered to lack the necessary resources they may be eligible to receive additional funding from the project itself.

“SUPPORT-E is a unique pan-European initiative and will be instrumental to evaluate COVID-19 convalescent plasma as a therapeutical pathway to treat patients affected by Sars-CoV-2, in times when there is no validated treatment yet against COVID-19. It is a clear demonstration of the key role of Blood Establishments in participating to public health and healthcare measures to best treat European patients. The major European Commission support to this project highlights the importance of working in a coordinated manner at EU level, as a network of experts” said Prof. Pierre Tiberghien, EBA President, and Coordinator of the project.

The SUPPORT-E project, which will be funded within the European research programme Horizon 2020, will last for 24 months and it will see the participation of 12 partners from 9 countries. EBA secretariat will manage and coordinate the project on behalf of the consortium.

More information:

info (at) europeanbloodalliance.eu

Executive Director: c.hartmann (at) europeanbloodalliance.eu

President: pierre.tiberghien (at) efs.sante.fr

Tel: +32 2 88062156

Disclaimer: Funding and composition of the consortium are subject to a final European Commission decision and signature of the Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement’.

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