Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) is collaborating with a group of pharmaceutical companies plasma therapy in the treatment of coronavirus. The company has launched a plasmabot initiative aimed at encouraging individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma.
Microsoft launches plasmabot to go live this weekend
As studies about the coronavirus continue, the company’s chatbot refered to as “plasmabot” takes people through several questions to determine if they can potentially donate plasma. The company has indicated that the plasmabot will go live this weekend and will offer information to the people regarding the procedures and the nearest place where they can donate.
The use of convalescent plasma is a treatment model that has been around for decades. Usually, after recovering from disease the body will create antibodies to resist the presence of the disease-causing antigens such as a virus. Normally the proteins remain in the blood system for a number of months.
Peter Lee the head of research at Microsoft indicated that they are planning to recruit a lot of plasma within the shortest time possible as the number of infections hit a peak in various cities. He added that Microsoft is helping in the efforts of the plasma consortium that was formed by the likes of Takeda, Octapharma, and CSL Behring among others. The project commenced late last month and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is among the advisor.
FDA yet to approve the use of plasma but regulating it as an investigational treatment
Although the FDA has not approved the use of convalescent plasma it is nonetheless overseeing it as investigational treatment. Microsoft has indicated that there are two ways through which the program will handle the plasma. It will be either direct transfusion to those suffering from the virus or by incorporating the antibodies to aid the development of a vaccine.
According to Lee the use of plasma treatment could potentially save lives. As a result, Microsoft is dedicating a lot of resources to the efforts. He, however, indicated that this is not a replacement of drug or vaccine treatment.