Scientists at Karachi’s Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) have reported that Pakistan is likely to become the first country to successfully complete research on the treatment of coronavirus disease with Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG).
During the tests, the recovery rate among COVID-19 critically ill patients admitted to the ICU stood at 60%.
In addition, the IVIG therapy substantially shortened the hospitalization duration from 20-25 days to 5-7 days for both moderately and critically ill Covid-19 patients.
Dr Shaukat Ali, Head of the Department of Biotechnology at DUHS, said that in April of this year, Pakistan became the first country to develop IVIG treatment for COVID-19.
The DUHS team which did the research on the C-IVIG therapy comprises Muneebuddin, Mir Rashid Ali, Fatima Anjum, Dr. Muhaymin, Dr.Farah, Ayesha Ali, Mujtaba Khan, Alisha Shalim, Tahrim Mushtaq, Faisal Shahab, Abdul Samad Khan, and Iqra Ahmad.
Basic job and pre-clinical trials were only possible due to the untiring efforts of this team. The clinical trials were under the supervision of Dr. Shobha Lakshmin in DOW University and Dr. Muneeba Syed in Sindh infection diseases hospital.
By chemically purifying the plasma collected from the blood donated by coronavirus patients after recovering from the disease, DUHS developed the IVIG treatment.
The IVIG medication, once given, defuses the virus and stabilizes the immune system, while the IVIG antibodies stop the secondary bacterial infection, Dr. Shaukat said.
Clinical trials of IVIG therapy for critically ill COVID-19 patents were approved in mid-April by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).
DUHS purified plasma immunoglobulin from COVID-19 patients in the same month and prepared IVIG formulations to treat serious and critical cases of viruses.
A week ago, a statement was made by Global Plasma Alliance of big companies of blood producers, including Japanese company Takeda Pharmaceutical, to work on the project, Dr. Ali said.