Blood: Time to Donate!

 

National Hemophilia Foundation recommends recombinant factor as the standard of choice for treatment of hemophilia, but did you know that many factor products used to treat
hemophilia are developed from human blood, specifically human plasma? In fact, one person with hemophilia can require up to 1,200 plasma donations for a one year’s supply of factor
products. Plasma products are especially important for those undergoing immune tolerance therapy to treat inhibitors, for those with von Willebrand disease and for those in developing countries.
 
And plasma can come from you! Think of making a blood donation, during this time of Thanksgiving and holidays.
 
First, learn a bit more about plasma, Plasma is the straw-colored liquid that makes up
approximately 55 percent of total blood volume. A single liter of plasma yields
coagulation factors essential for blood clotting, immunoglobulins used to
combat viruses and bacterial infections, and albumin, a major plasma protein
that regulates blood volume and other essential functions.
 
In addition to treating hemophilia, plasma-derived therapies
are used in everyday medicines, emergency and critical care situations, as well
as preventive medicine. Albumin, for example, is used to treat burns, shock,
trauma, liver conditions and cardiopulmonary illnesses; immunoglobulins are
indicated for Rh incompatibility, pediatric HIV, hepatitis, and animal bites.
 
Plasma is an expensive raw material and represents between 40 to 60 percent of the cost
of plasma-derived product production. This is due primarily to its biologic
nature: plasma protein therapies are not interchangeable, have no generic
variations or substitutions, and are defined as sole-source biologic products
by global regulators.
 
Since plasma is biological in nature, complex regulation and
oversight measures are in place—including collection, processing, and storage
and handling requirements—to ensure plasma donor health, as well as product
purity and efficacy for patients.
 
The majority of the world’s plasma comes from plasma donors
in the U.S. Collectively, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its Center
for Biologics and Research (CEBR) are responsible for regulatory oversight of
the U.S. blood supply. Blood collection centers are either registered or
licensed by the FDA, and are held to quality standards comparable to those of pharmaceutical
manufacturers. Blood establishments located outside of the U.S. that import or
offer for import blood products are also required to register with the FDA.  
 
CEBR regulates the collection of blood and blood components
used for transfusions, as well as for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals
derived from blood and blood components. CEBR develops and enforces quality
standards, inspects blood establishments and monitors reports of errors,
accidents and adverse clinical events.
 
Manufacturing processes begin with fractionation,
followed by purification and virus inactivation. Fractionation is a time
consuming and complex process that extracts, or “fractions off,” specific
plasma proteins that have a proven health benefit. Fractionation requires
multiple processing steps, which involve manipulating solution pH, temperature,
ionic strength and alcohol concentration.
 
Once fractionated, plasma proteins are further subjected to
virus inactivation, a complex purification processes that includes prion
removal, nanofiltration, solvent/detergent
treatments and incubation, to ensure sterility and purity of the final product.
The complete manufacturing process, from plasma collection at a donor
center to the FDA’s lot release, takes seven to 12 months.

 

So donate now! Next year at this time, your donation could be used to save a life!
 
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Plasma Awareness Week

This week marks the first ever International Plasma Awareness Week, an opportunity to recognzie the importance of plasma in our lives, and the need to donate blood to provide the life-saving liquid to those in need. It’s especially important to many with hemophilia throughout the world as donated blood donations can be fractionated into factor VIII and IX for many hemophilia patients who use plasma therapy. 

You learned this in high school science class but here it is again: Plasma is the clear, straw-colored liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins. It is a clear, straw colored liquid that is 90% water and serves as a transporting medium for cells and a variety of substances vital to the human body.
In the US, we often think only of recombinant factor when we think about treating hemophilia, but plasma therapies remain the mainstay for many with hemophilia, those with inhibitors and undergoing ITI, and those with von Willebrand disease patients. 
In addition, plasma protein therapies are used to in emergency and surgical medicine.Plasma protein therapies are not interchangeable and have been defined by regulators as sole-source biologic products because no generics or substitutions exist. In addition, their biological nature demands storage and handling requirements by specialty distributors that ensure their safety.

Source plasma is plasma that is collected exclusively for further manufacturing through a process called plasmapherisis. Recovered plasma is collected through whole blood donation which has been separated into its cellular components.

Safety and quality of plasma protein therapies is the top priority of the plasma protein therapeutics industry. Both collectors and manufacturers adhere to strict regulatory policies and have instituted Good Manufacturing Practices in every step of plasma collection and manufacturing processes.

Plasma-derived therapies depend on the generosity and commitment of healthy donors. Source plasma is collected in over 450 specialized donor centers in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Source plasma collection in the U.S. is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and by the European Medicines Agency and national regulatory authorities in Europe. Additionally, 436 plasma collection centers are also certified by the International Quality Plasma Program (IQPP), a rigorous, voluntary program that goes beyond regulatory requirements to help ensure donor safety and further improve the quality of plasma used to manufacture therapies.
This is a good week to doante blood then! If you can make the time, please visit your local blood donation center and give the gift of life. 
See www.donatingplasma.org and www.pptaglobal.org  for more information.


International Plasma Awareness Week is sponsored by the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association and its member companies.

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