Miners donate blood plasma to help manufacture a medicine against COVID-19

The first Polish medicine against COVID-19 will be produced by Biomed in Lublin. 160 liters of plasma are required to make the first batch of the drug. To date, miners have donated 30 liters of this valuable resource.

- We are working on a medicine that will be created from blood plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus infection. There are a number of miners who have been infected with the virus and have recovered. They are now able to share an unusual “gift” that has developed in their bodies, namely the antibodies that are found in their blood plasma.  By donating their plasma, they can contribute very significantly to saving other people’s good health and even lives.  It is extremely important for patients, because this virus is going to stay with us forever - explains Piotr Fic, Management Board Member for Operations at Biomed Lublin SA.

Using the available technology, by processing the collected plasma, Biomed will be able to manufacture a medicine that will help in the future treatment of COVID-19 patients.

- Without the plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19, the medicine will not be made. Only the generosity of donors will make its production possible. The attitude adopted by miners is extremely uplifting. By donating their plasma, not only will they be able to save human lives and health, but also they will contribute to the endeavors aimed at ensuring Poland’s independence from the supply of medicines from abroad. This patriotic attitude deserves great respect - adds Piotr Fic.

According to the manufacturer, if everything goes according to plan and clinical trials confirm the effectiveness of the medicine, it may appear on the market as early as next year. However, a lot will depend on how long the registration process with the Medicine Registration Authority will take.

- Blood plasma is a biological material, which is why we pay extreme attention to the safety of the people who work with it and the patients who use it. In the fractionation process, we rid the plasma of any unnecessary genetic material, deactivate any viruses and bacteria and then, from among the proteins found in the plasma, we select the right ones to obtain the purest product - explains Artur Bielawski, Production Director at Biomed, and adds: - Plasma antibodies are the main weapon in our fight against coronavirus. Only following the completion of a complex production process will we be able to manufacture the finished product in an ampule, which will then be administered to the patients. We have to be 100% sure that the medicine is safe both for patients and for the environment - emphasizes Artur Bielawski.

The plasma for the medicine to be manufactured by Biomed has been donated predominantly by miners from Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa. This valuable resource will be provided to Biomed by the Regional Blood Donation and Treatment Center in Racibórz, which was the first such center in Poland to enter into cooperation aimed at obtaining plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to enable the production of a medicine against this disease.

- We are extremely happy to have established cooperation both with Biomed and with Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa and its miners. They are a strong and responsible group of people who are willing and ready to help. They have never let us down and this time they also swiftly responded to our call for help. I grew up in Silesia myself, my husband is a miner and I know that you can always count on miners. Once again, I would like to call on the residents of Silesia to donate plasma and also blood, which we need so badly - says Gizela Kowol, Director of the Regional Blood Donation and Treatment Center in Racibórz.

160 liters of plasma are required to manufacture the first batch of the preparation for the phase of clinical trials. This means that plasma must be collected from approx. 200 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.