Market futures were up ahead of trading today, buoyed by the news that the FDA has approved a plasma treatment for Coronavirus infections.
Here’s what investors need to know about the latest development.
Emergency Authorization for Experimental Treatment
People who recover from the Coronavirus develop antibodies in their blood. These unique proteins are used to fight infection. Convalescent plasma, the liquid element of blood, can be drawn from people who have recovered from the virus. It is then transfused into people who are suffering from severe symptoms.
Research has been underway for months, but there are still questions about the efficacy of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment. While plasma has been used for the treatment of many other diseases, there are still some risks for Coronavirus patients. These include allergic reactions, lung damage, and the transmission of other infections.
The FDA advises that these risks are low because donated blood must conform to high testing standards before it can be used for treatment.
The government still faces challenges in using plasma as a mainstream solution. Clinical trials aren’t clear on the advantages of the treatment, so there’s no guarantee that convalescent plasma will hasten recovery or prevent the most severe complications.
There’s also the scarcity of plasma. Not everyone who recovers from COVID-19 is eligible to donate. They may have underlying health issues, or they may not be healthy enough following their recovery to donate blood. As testing increases, it is expected that the number of viable donors will increase.
There’s some strong evidence to support the safety of this treatment. The Mayo Clinic performed a study on convalescent plasma treatment earlier this year. From 20,000 hospitalized patients, less than 1% experienced mortality within four hours of the transfusion. 26 patients suffered allergic reactions, and 20 patients experienced acute transfusion-related lung injuries.
Why is Wall Street Excited About the Plasma Treatment?
The Coronavirus is deadly, but so are many other viruses. The difference so far is that we have no viable treatments or cures for the Coronavirus. Convalescent plasma transfusion creates hope that some of the worst cases could be overcome, and if the treatment proves to be highly effective, it could limit the need for strict lockdown orders that are damaging the economy.
We’re far from a vaccine and eradication of the Novel Coronavirus. But, investors will at least take confidence knowing that health researchers are already providing some solutions.
Stocks are expected to grow throughout the day based on this news.
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