Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)  - Mayo Clinic has been awarded a $26 million contract from the federal government for using convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19.

The funding is coming from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the US Department of Health and Human Services. A Mayo Clinic news release says the funding from the federal agency is needed to continue expanding access and infrastructure for the Expanded Access Program for convalescent plasma led by the Mayo Clinic.

“Mayo Clinic mobilized quickly to advance convalescent plasma in a scientific way,” says Dr. Joyner, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and the program’s principal investigator. “We are pleased to work with our colleagues and the federal government to fight this pandemic every way we can as part of Mayo's patient-focused mission. The genuine collaboration of researchers across the nation is key to realizing the full potential of convalescent plasma treatment.”

Since the launch of the program in early April, over 2000 hospitals and 4000 physicians have enrolled 10,000 patients. So far, over 5000 patients have received the potentially therapeutic plasma from people who have recovered from confirmed coronavirus infections.

The Mayo Clinic says new federal funding will be used to help cover the cost of collecting and distributing the convalescent plasma. It will also be directed at increasing patient access to the plasma and supporting the scientific and regulatory administration of the program.

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