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Grifols (GRFS) to Begin Study on Plasma-Derived COVID-19 Drug

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Grifols (GRFS - Free Report) announced that it will begin a study in Spain to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new plasma-derived medicinethat would provide immediate immunity against COVID-19. The treatment would be based on the company’s immunoglobulin injection, Gamunex-C,and contains antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 infection, which have been obtained from plasma donors who have overcome the disease. 

The company expects that the study led by the researchers, Oriol Mitja and Bonaventura Clotet, from Germans Triasi Pujol Hospital in Barcelona, will begin in February 2021, with results expected in spring.

About 800 patients, all asymptomatic but having tested positive for the virus in a diagnostic test, will participate in the clinical study. They will receive subcutaneous Grifols' immunoglobulin along with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

Shares of the company have decreased 19.3% in the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 2.6%.

The plasma-derived medicine will be administered subcutaneously and would provide immediate protection after exposure to the virus. It could be used to protect the elderly and healthcare workers. It could also be given to immunocompromised patients for whom the vaccination isn't indicated.

The potential treatment is easy to refrigerate and its subcutaneous use allows its easy administration in a physician’s office, avoiding hospitalization. If the therapy is approved, it could be administered to people who test positive for the virus through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antigen tests in hospitals and primary care offices

In October 2020, Grifols along with other companies and various U.S. health agencies began the clinical trial, ITAC (Inpatient Treatment with Anti-Coronavirus Immunoglobulin), to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin in hospitalized and serious cases. Results are expected during the first half of 2021.

Several other companies have also come up with vaccines for this virus.

In January 2021, Moderna, Inc.’s (MRNA - Free Report) mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, was granted a conditional marketing authorization (CMA) by the European Commission. It also received authorization in the United States and a few other countries.

AstraZeneca’s (AZN - Free Report) adenovirus-based coronavirus vaccine candidate, AZD1222, is approved for emergency use in the United Kingdomand India.

Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) and its partner BioNTech’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, is approved for emergency/temporary/conditional use in more than 40 countries, including the United States and 27 EU member countries.

Zacks Rank

Grifols currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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