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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic responded to Sunday's announcement by President Trump concerning the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 by announcing it would be discontinuing enrollment in the national Expanded Access Program that was launched 5 months ago.

President Trump announced the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of convalescent plasma, opening the door for its widespread use in treating COVID-19 patients.  In closing enrollment in the Expanded Access Program, a Mayo Clinic news release says it was designed to increase access to investigational convalescent and the safety of the experimental therapy, which it did.

"While the program was never intended to be a randomized clinical trial, in the course of our work, Mayo Clinic and our collaborators observed potential signals of efficacy among a diverse population and chose to share those data," says Michael Joyner, M.D., lead researcher for the Mayo-led program. "Our hope is that the safety findings and possible efficacy signals could inform the body of knowledge about the use of convalescent plasma to modify the course of COVID-19. We are facilitating additional collaborative trials and scientific study of convalescent plasma."

Mayo says the program served almost 2,800 hospital and acute care facilities with nearly 14,000 physicians who enrolled over 100,000 patients. Over 70,000 of those patients have received infusions of the plasma and continue to receive them. Mayo previously issued a statement that indicated researchers involved in the study had found an association between lower mortality rates and patients who received the infusions of plasma with high levels of antibodies within several days of developing COVID-19 symptoms.

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