Aramco Americas Joins in Funding for Coronavirus Blood Transfusion Therapy First Tested in Houston

Houston Methodist Hospital
Aramco Americas announced this week it has joined in support for a promising plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients that was first to go to trial in the U.S. at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Aramco Americas announced this week it has joined in support for a promising plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients that was first to go to trial in  the U.S. at Houston Methodist Hospital. The $500,000 donation – making Aramco a leading sponsor – advances work in plasma therapy, offering a timely response to the virus in the absence of a vaccine and specific treatment options.

The innovative treatment, called convalescent plasma therapy, takes blood plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient and infuses it with the antibodies it contains, into a person who is currently suffering from COVID-19.  "Convalescent plasma therapy has been effective in other infectious diseases and our physician-scientists are working to develop it into a first-line treatment for COVID-19,” said Dirk Sostman, M.D., President, Houston Methodist Academic Institute.
Aramco's donation advances the various phases of Houston Methodist's clinical research about this treatment, including a randomized controlled trial for validation and, importantly, the application of unique innovative technology in the area of monoclonal antibodies that can be ready and available for use in therapy for COVID-19.  The latter effort is being developed by Houston Methodist's Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine in collaboration with scientists around the country.
“Houston Methodist Hospital is a world-leader in healthcare as well as research and development. Our donation is an opportunity to support the innovative work occurring there in support of the Houston community and to contribute to long-term medical solutions for this global health crisis,” said Mohammad S. Alshammari, President & CEO, Aramco Americas.
The city of Houston is recognized for having one of the best medical centers in the world and Houston Methodist is a leader in advancing clinical trials.  When Aramco became aware of the promising treatment administered locally, it wanted to contribute to advancements in the research and administration of the program.
“We are grateful for Aramco as a community partner both now and for the company's 30 years of involvement in our hospital system,” said Cathy Easter, President and CEO, Houston
Methodist Global Health Care Services.  “This support gives us resources to continue our work at one of the most challenging times in modern history.”
Houston has been Aramco Americas headquarters home for nearly 50 years, working side-by-side with local government and other charitable organizations to address a number of issues including education and environmental protection.
Aramco's donations to address the coronavirus are part of the company's global relief efforts and, in the U.S., are focused on providing food security and supporting the medical response.

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