(Reuters) – The emergency approval of blood plasma as a potential COVID-19 treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now been put on hold, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing two senior administration officials.
A group of top federal health officials including Anthony Fauci have argued that the emerging data on the treatment was too weak, the report said, adding that an emergency approval could still be granted in the near future.
The authorization is on hold for now as more data is reviewed, the NYT reported, citing Clifford Lane, the clinical director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institute of Health.
The FDA and NIH did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
People who survive an infectious disease like COVID-19 are left with blood plasma containing antibodies, or proteins the body’s immune system created, to fight off a virus. This can be transfused into newly infected patients to try to aid recovery.
An FDA emergency-use authorization could allow faster access to a therapy for the pandemic.
(Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)