Octapharma acts to accelerate development of COVID-19 plasma therapies

Lachen, Switzerland
Press release

Octapharma is putting its expertise to work to find new treatments for COVID-19 as part of its ongoing commitment to its patients. The company has launched a special project team to explore new therapies, and today announced that in addition it has also joined other global leaders in plasma fractionation in a collaboration to develop a potential plasma-derived hyperimmune immunoglobulin therapy for treating COVID-19.

The alliance will immediately begin with the investigational development of one, unbranded anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin medicine with the potential to treat individuals with serious complications from COVID-19. Apart from Octapharma, the companies in this industry alliance includes CSL, Takeda, BPL, Biotest and LFB.

The collaboration will leverage leading-edge expertise and work that the companies already have underway. Experts from the alliance will begin collaborating across key aspects such as plasma collections, clinical trial development and manufacturing.

Developing a hyperimmune immunoglobulin will require plasma donation from many individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19, and whose blood contains antibodies that can fight the novel coronavirus. Once collected, the “convalescent” plasma would then be transported to manufacturing facilities where it undergoes proprietary processing, including effective virus inactivation and removal processes, and then is purified into the final product.

In addition to joining the global industry alliance for the development of a hyperimmune immunoglobulin, Octapharma is also working on a number of European country specific initiatives involving our currently approved and marketed products. In the execution of these projects, we are working closely with the relevant European regulatory agencies with the aim of having therapies available within 2 months in the frame of existing manufacturing and supply contracts.

Octapharma’s Chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Marguerre, said: “We are pleased to join forces with the industry to develop a commercial-scale hyper-immune IgG product. Sharing expertise and pooling all convalescent plasma allows us to together achieve the maximum possible scale very quickly. We will save many more lives collaborating than we would by each of us working independently on the same project”.

“Our united efforts will send a powerful message further reinforcing the incredible value of the plasma fractionation industry in saving lives. We are also pursuing with the utmost urgency, a number of European projects with our long term partners”.

“At this time, with infection rates still increasing and hundreds of thousands of patients around the world in desperate need of a medicine, it is important that patients know that Octapharma and our industry is working tirelessly to find new health solutions to this global pandemic”.

About Octapharma

Headquartered in Lachen, Switzerland, Octapharma is one of the largest human protein manufacturers in the world, developing and producing human proteins from human plasma and human cell lines.

Octapharma employs more than 10,000 people worldwide to support the treatment of patients in 118 countries with products across three therapeutic areas: Hematology; Immunotherapy and Critical care.

Octapharma has seven R&D sites and six state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Austria, France, Germany, Mexico and Sweden, with a combined capacity of approximately 8 mil litres of plasma per annum.

In addition, Octapharma operates more than 140 plasma donation centres across Europe and the US.


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