NIH Halts Convalescent Plasma Study of COVID-19 Patients in Emergency Departments
The NIH announced that it has halted a clinical trial evaluating COVID-19 convalescent plasma as a treatment for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients placed in emergency departments.
The institute said that an independent data and safety monitoring board assembled for the second planned interim analysis of the trial data and determined that the convalescent plasma was unlikely to benefit the group of patients in the trial, though it also didn’t cause any harm. The board recommended that NIH cease enrollment in the trial, which it did immediately.
“After the … participants received either the COVID-19 convalescent plasma or a placebo, researchers tracked whether the participants needed to seek further emergency or urgent care, had to be hospitalized or died within 15 days of entering the trial,” the NIH said. “The recent data analysis from the study indicated no significant difference in the proportion of participants who experienced any one of these outcomes.”
The institute said that even if it had opted to continue enrolling participants, the trial was “highly unlikely” to show that convalescent plasma prevented progression from mild-to-severe illness in at-risk, nonhospitalized emergency department participants.