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Mumbai: Project Platina, the world's largest convalescent plasma therapy trial cum project in treatment of severe COVID-19 patients, was today launched by the Medical Education and Drugs Department. CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray inaugurated the project. Thackeray had made a mention about this project in his web address on Sunday.

Salient features:

1. Convalescent Plasma Therapy is now coming up as one of the most important methods in the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients in the absence of definite treatment drugs for the same.

2. It will be the world's largest trial cum treatment project, wherein the intention will be to benefit and save around 500 lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients of Maharashtra.

3. The trial will be carried out in 17 medical colleges under department of medical education and drugs, Government of Maharashtra and four BMC medical colleges in Mumbai (21 centres).

4. All critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml of convalescent plasma. The plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients contains antibodies against coronavirus thereby fighting infection and helping critically ill patients greatly.

5. The entire plasma therapy treatment will be free of cost to all the patients of Maharashtra admitted in the above centres.

6. The donors are available in large numbers and have no weakness whatsoever after plasma donation as RBC are returned back to the patient.

7. The Platina trial will be world's largest trial and hence will give robust data regarding the role of convalescent plasma in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, thereby helping to issue guidelines in the management of COVID pandemic.

8. This trial will help formulate definite treatment guidelines for the entire country in managing serious COVID patients and thus be a milestone in turning a page in the COVID pandemic.

9. The intention is to take this study further and isolate Monoclonal antibodies against COVID from this plasma and study its structure and possibly produce it in an artificial form.

10. As a collateral benefit, this will create an infrastructure of plasmapheresis in all medical colleges in various districts of Maharashtra which will cater to the collection of FFP, SDP in treatment of dengue,etc and also in GBS,snake bites etc.

11. CM has approved Rs. 16.65 crore for the purposes of this project cum clinical trial from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. This trial is a Government Sponsored Trial, and no private/ company financial involvement is there. This is unique in itself.

According to CMO, Thackeray inaugurated the commencement of the Clinical Trials, launching of COVID19 Plasma Banks in 13 centres, commencement of Plasma Collection from eligible donors and permitting emergency authorisation of convalescent plasma in mild and moderate cases in dedicated COVID hospitals, government, private and charitable.

CMO said the project cum research trial has all the necessary approvals. CM has allocated Rs 16.85 crore for this project through CM Relief Fund. The whole process of planning, getting clearances and completing dedicated COVID19 plasma banks has been done in 21 days.

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