Dow University claims immunoglobulin (IVIG) for treatment of COVID-19 patients
KARACHI: The Dow University’s research team has claimed to have prepared intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) with plasma obtained from recovered patients of coronavirus for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Vice Chancellor, Prof Muhammad Saeed Quraishy called it a very important breakthrough in the war against COVID-19, according to a press release issued here on Monday.
This way of treatment was safe, low risk and highly effective against coronavirus. Through this method, Immunoglobulin was prepared after separation of antibodies found in the blood of a recovered patient from the coronavirus. This method was considerably different from plasma therapy and it should be noted that the treatment by hyper immunoglobulin (H-IVIG) was approved by the US Federal agency, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for normal conditions.
Plasma therapy, on the other hand, was only allowed in emergencies due to its side effects.
The Dow University research team led by Dr Shaukat Ali has developed this H-IVIG after days of continuous hard work. The team was able to collect first blood sample in March and managed to isolate antibodies chemically, purified it and later concentrated these antibodies using the ultrafiltration techniques that removed the remaining unwanted materials from the final product. This was the first global report of isolation, formulation and safety demonstration of immunoglobulin purified from recovered COVID-19 patient and could be a ray of hope in this time of crisis when the whole nation expected national researchers to come forward and serve the nation.
The method was also a type of passive immunization but used purified antibodies rather than the whole plasma. The treatment was considered safer and more effective than plasma transfusion as it did not carry the undesired component of blood like plasma proteins, potential bacterial and viral pathogens. Such purified antibodies were commercially available against diseases like tetanus, rabies, Influenza and hepatitis. The same strategy has been effectively used in the time of other viral epidemics like MERS, SARS and Ebola.
The team used blood donated by recovered COVID-19 patients to purify antibodies, capable to neutralize coronavirus. Laboratory testing and safety trial of the formulated product (experimental vials) in animals have been successful.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Saeed Quraishy has assigned task to clinicians at Dow hospital to team up with researchers to devise a strategy for fulfilling ethical and regulatory requirements for trials.
The lead researcher Dr. Shaukat Ali was principal of Dow College of Biotechnology and other team members included Dr. Shobha Luxmi, Syed Muneeb uddin, Mir Rashid Ali, Ayesha Ali, Mujtaba Khan, Fatima Anjum, Dr. Sohaib Tauheed. - APP