By Jennifer Ahlstrom | Posted - Apr 19th, 2020





Takeda Oncology Partners to Create New COVID-19 Immune Therapy Using Convalescent Plasma

Takeda Oncology (maker of Velcade and Ninlaro) has partnered with the German company CSL Behring to form an alliance with additional companies to jointly create an anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin treatment for COVID-19 patients with serious complications.

“Unprecedented times call for bold moves,” said Julie Kim, President of Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit, Takeda. “We collectively agree that by collaborating and bringing industry resources together, we could accelerate bringing a potential therapy to market as well as increase the potential supply. We invite companies and institutions focusing on plasma to support or join our alliance. 

“Leaders lead during uncertainty. There is no question that we are all experiencing the impact of COVID-19,” said Bill Mezzaotte, CSL Behring’s Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development. “This effort aims to accelerate a reliable, scalable and sustainable option for caregivers to treat patients suffering from the impact of COVID-19. In addition to pooling industry resources, we will also collaborate with government and academic efforts as a single alliance whenever we can, including important activities like clinical trials. This will make it more efficient in these hectic times for these stakeholders as well.” 

The joint project will incude collaborators and global experts from Biotest AG, Bio Products Laboratory, CSL Behring, LFB, Octopharma and Takeda Onoclogy. 

Developing a hyperimmune will require plasma donation from many individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19, and whose blood contains antibodies that can fight the novel coronavirus. Once collected, the “convalescent” plasma would then be transported to manufacturing facilities where it undergoes proprietary processing, including effective virus inactivation and removal processes, and then is purified into the product. 

Individuals can donate plasma to the project, however, myeloma patients are most likely not the best plasma donors as myeloma is a cancer of the plasma.

We applaud Takeda's efforts in creating this alliance to provide rapid solutions for COVID-19 patients across the globe. 


Jennifer Ahlstrom
About the Author

Jennifer Ahlstrom - Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree and the HealthTree Foundation.


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