Convalescent plasma, no benefit

RECOVERY trial closes recruitment to convalescent plasma treatment for patients hospitalised with COVID-19

15 January 2021

RECOVERY trial is being conducted by the registered clinical trials units with the Nuffield Department of Population Health in partnership with the Nuffield Department of Medicine

176 hospitals across the whole of the UK

Since May 2020, randomised comparison of convalescent plasma vs. usual care alone

Convalescent plasma has been widely used as a treatment for COVID-19 but

To date there has been no convincing evidence of the effect of convalescent plasma on clinical outcomes in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19

On the advice of the Data Monitoring Committee (DMC), recruitment to the convalescent plasma arm of the RECOVERY trial has now closed

No convincing evidence that further recruitment would provide conclusive proof of worthwhile mortality benefit

Either overall or in any pre-specified subgroup

N = 10,406 randomised patients

Deaths, 1,873

No significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality

Convalescent plasma group (Experimental group)


Usual care alone group (Control group)


Risk ratio 1.04 (p = 0.34)

Follow-up of patients is ongoing

Final results will be published ASAP

Recruitment to all other treatment arms – tocilizumab, aspirin, colchicine, and Regeneron’s antibody cocktail – continues as planned.

Professor Martin Landray, (Oxford)

Once again, the RECOVERY trial is demonstrating the value of large randomised trials to properly assess the role of potential treatments.

Professor Peter Horby

This is the largest ever trial of convalescent plasma and it was only possible thanks to the generous donation of plasma by recovered patients

and the willingness of current patients to contribute to advancing medical care.

We owe them all a great debt of gratitude

Whilst the overall result is negative, we need to await the full results before we can understand whether convalescent plasma has any role in particular patient subgroups

Dr Gail Miflin

We await the full results with interest, there is no doubt that this trial will provide a real answer to an important question

NHSBT has helped deliver the largest ever randomised control trial of convalescent plasma

The story so far

RECOVERY trial finds no benefit from azithromycin in patients hospitalised with COVID-19
14th December 2020

Lopinavir-ritonavir is not an effective treatment for patients hospitalised with COVID-19
5th October 2020

No clinical benefit from use of lopinavir-ritonavir in hospitalised COVID-19 patients studied in RECOVERY
29th June 2020

Low-cost dexamethasone reduces death by up to one third in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19
16th June 2020

No clinical benefit from use of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalised patients with COVID-19
5th June 2020

Current RECOVERY trial arms

Low-dose Dexamethasone (now only recruiting children)

Colchicine (commonly used anti-inflammatory)

Tocilizumab (an anti-inflammatory treatment given by injection)

Convalescent plasma (collected from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and contains antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus)

Regeneron’s antibody cocktail (a combination of monoclonal antibodies directed against coronavirus)

Aspirin (commonly used to thin the blood).

Source: Dr. John Campbell

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