Mortality reduction in 46 severe Covid-19 patients treated with hyperimmune plasma. A proof of concept single arm multicenter trial

Haematologica. 2020 Jul 23;haematol.2020.261784. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2020.261784. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Hyperimmune plasma from Covid-19 convalescent is a potential treatment for severe Covid-19. We conducted a multicenter one arm proof of concept interventional study. Patients with Covid-19 disease with moderate-to-severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, elevated C-reactive Protein and need for mechanical ventilation and/or CPAP were enrolled. One to three 250-300 ml unit of hyperimmune plasma (neutralizing antibodies titer ≥1:160) were administered. Primary outcome was 7-days hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes were PaO2/FiO2, laboratory and radiologic changes, as well as weaning from mechanical ventilation and safety. The study observed 46 patients from March, 25 to April, 21 2020. Patients were aged 63, 61% male, of them, 30 were on CPAP and 7 intubated. PaO2/FiO2 was 128 (SD 47). Bilateral infiltrates on chest X-ray was present in 36 patients (84%). Symptoms and ARDS duration were 14 (SD 7) and 6 days (SD 3). Three patients (6.5%) died within 7 days as compared to an expected 15% from the National Statistics and 30% from a small concurrent cohort of 23 patients. The upper one-sided 90%CI was 13.9%, allowing to reject the null hypothesis of a 15% mortality. PaO2/FiO2 increased by 112 units (95%CI 82 to142) in survivors, the chest radiogram severity decreased in 23% (95%CI 5% to 42%); CRP, Ferritin and LDH decreased by 60, 36 and 20% respectively. Weaning from CPAP was obtained in 26/30 patients and 3/7 were extubated. Five serious adverse events occurred in 4 patients (2 likely, 2 possible treatment related). In conclusion, Hyperimmune plasma in Covid-19 shows promising benefits, to be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial. This proof of concept study could open to future developments including hyperimmune plasma banking, development of standardized pharmaceutical products and monoclonal antibodies.

Keywords: SarsCov-2; Transfusion Medicine; covid-19; hyperimmune plasma; plasmapheresis.