FDA's emergency approval of blood plasma as Covid-19 treatment on hold

A group of top federal health officials including Dr Anthony Fauci have argued that the emerging data on the treatment was too weak.
A group of top federal health officials including Dr Anthony Fauci have argued that the emerging data on the treatment was too weak.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The emergency approval of blood plasma as a potential Covid-19 treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration has now been put on hold, the New York Times reported on Wednesday (Aug 19), citing two senior administration officials.

A group of top federal health officials including Dr Anthony Fauci argued that the emerging data on the treatment was too weak, the report said, adding that an emergency approval could still be granted in the near future.

The authorisation is on hold for now as more data is reviewed, the NYT reported, citing Dr Clifford Lane, the clinical director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institute of Health.

The FDA and NIH did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

People who survive an infectious disease like Covid-19 are left with blood plasma containing antibodies, or proteins the body's immune system created, to fight off a virus.

This can be transfused into newly infected patients to try to aid recovery.

An FDA emergency-use authorisation could allow faster access to a therapy for the pandemic.