Statement From the Presidents of the NAS, NAE, and NAM Supporting Steps Necessary to Assess the Potential for Human Convalescent Plasma to Help Control COVID-19

March 23, 2020


In light of the present situation in the U.S., we believe that it is essential to explore a wide range of options for treating the increasing numbers of very ill patients with COVID-19 respiratory illness. We strongly support the efforts of scientists and physicians to develop an effective vaccine, monoclonal antibodies, and new drugs or to repurpose existing drugs and therapies. One such effort that is especially promising is work to determine whether a tried-and-true treatment found effective in treating infections — the production of passive immunity via the provision of convalescent plasma from recovered patients — has a role in management of COVID-19. In fact, FDA recently announced that this modality is among the therapeutic approaches being actively considered.

Although many questions will have to be answered about dosage, indications for use, safety, and efficacy before this approach can be used in patients, we strongly endorse undertaking the steps needed to assess whether convalescent plasma could prove to be an important component of the fight against COVID-19. We encourage the collaboration and cooperation of academia, industry, and federal government to expedite scientific progress and regulatory approval of this promising approach. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine stand ready to assist in facilitating such collaboration.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

John L. Anderson
President, National Academy of Engineering

Victor J. Dzau
President, National Academy of Medicine