Japan starts clinical trial of antibody drug

Japanese institutions have started a clinical trial for a COVID-19 drug containing antibodies collected from people who recovered from the disease, as part of an international program.

The program is funded by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. From Japan, the National Center for Global Health and Medicine and Fujita Health University jointly launched a trial.

The Japanese National Center says the drug, called "hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin" is being administered to 10 patients who need to be hospitalized. Their conditions will be monitored for about one month. The drug's effectiveness will be examined, based on data from participating countries.

The center is also conducting a clinical study using blood plasma from people who recovered from COVID-19. Plasma containing antibodies is being administered to patients.

The center says it hopes the treatment will prove effective and safe, as few methods of treating COVID-19 exist at present.