Kedrion has formed a research partnership with Columbia University Irving Medical Center to develop and test a new IgG therapy for COVID-19 which is being developed by Kedrion and Kamada Ltd, a leading Israeli bio-pharmaceutical company that specializes in plasma derived products.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kedrion will supply Columbia with convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to be used for the manufacturing of IgG therapy. Columbia University will test the convalescent plasma against viral proteins to check the neutralizing power of the hyperimmune Immunoglobulins.
Dr. Steven Spitalnik, Medical Director of the Clinical Laboratories at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, explained in an interview that the evaluation of the neutralizing assay of the hyperimmune Immunoglobulins should be completed by early August, and human clinical trials may be initiated pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Spitalnik said, "The initial samples were sent to us last week. We hope to be able to evaluate the first assays in a week or two. Then during this third quarter we hope to evaluate the IgG therapy that could be used for clinical studies in patients and volunteers."
Dr. Spitalnik said he hopes that, if the therapy receives FDA approval, it can be administered to frontline medical workers at risk for COVID-19 at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and elsewhere.
Paolo Marcucci, the CEO of Kedrion Biopharma, said he welcomed the partnership with Columbia University Irving Medical Center to accelerate the development of an anti-COVID IgG therapy. "We are proud to work with Columbia on a project that could ultimately help patients in need and perhaps even help frontline medical workers at Columbia itself. That would be wonderful," said Marcucci.