Make a Financial Gift to Help Our Fight Against COVID-19
COVID-19 General Fund
New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) have stepped up to provide for the critical needs of patients during COVID-19, including maintaining a safe and continuous supply of blood, along with the collection of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP). NYBCe has stretched its limited resources to meet the unique demands of this pandemic with increased and new costs in lab equipment, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, personal protective equipment and donor recruitment outreach. Despite this we developed a first in the nation convalescent plasma program that has provided over 10,000 units to patients, initiated pre-clinical phase trials for two promising SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, and spearheaded an antibody initiative to help get the nation back to work.
The pandemic has made a substantial financial impact on our enterprise at a time when our services could not be more crucial. With increased expenditures relating to necessary public health measures such as social distancing, and significantly decreased revenues resulting from reductions in blood use due to elective surgery cancellations, your monetary donations will directly contribute to various areas that will help the nation in the fight against COVID-19.
With your generous gift, we can apply your donation to several needed areas:
- Increase capacity and supply of CCP units – NYBCe has shipped over 10,000 plasma units to healthcare facilities, but our goal is to expand operations to provide CCP to any COVID-19 patient who needs it, as well as to develop a repository for antibody research and to safeguard against possible additional waves of the disease.
Blood donor outreach and new donor centers – NYBCe faces serious operational challenges as 70% of our blood supply comes from blood drives which are currently cancelled. In order to ensure an ongoing sufficient blood supply, the enterprise will need to fund operational expenses such as opening new donor centers, purchasing new machines, and extend mass communication to the public.
COVID-19 Research & Antibody/Serology Testing – In order to support COVID-19 response and workforce restoration, NYBCe focuses their efforts towards determining individuals at risk for severe disease, understanding the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. We are in the beginning of testing the general population to study the prevalence of antibodies which will inform us as to how many individuals per capita “had” and have recovered from COVID19. We are using our network of hospitals and blood banks to achieve this. First, we test all known COVID-19 positive individuals after day 14 of symptoms. Second, we test symptomatic but not previously tested potential donors. Third, we screen our donors to subsequently recruit them into the program and/or use their plasma from a whole blood donation as convalescent plasma. Lastly, we do seroprevalence studies and natural history of antibody response studies and share this information with the medical community nationwide. To note, NYBCe brings innovation to this global health issue by leveraging over a decade of research and development in developing vaccines for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
- Overview of Project Needs
COVID-19 Vaccine Development
Under the leadership and guidance of Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, Lanying Du, PhD, and Shibo Jiang, MD, PhD, in a matter of three months, they were able to apply over a decade’s worth of expertise and knowledge in developing vaccines for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), to identify and design two novel vaccine candidates. One using liposomal encapsulation of a specific mRNA marker and the other follows a traditional peptide-based delivery system—similar to the annual flu vaccine. The combination of a novel adjuvant developed by Dr. Lustigman may make the vaccine or the combination of adjuvant superior to all the vaccines in trials now. These vaccines are currently in the pre-clinical trial phase and are being developed for safety, efficacy, and manufactural capability for emergent use.
Funding will allow NYBCe to conduct and complete more trials and quickly overcome any regulatory challenges that may occur. The most promising vaccine candidates will need funding as they advance through clinical trials to manufacturing, and then onward to delivery across communities worldwide.
We truly appreciate and are thankful for any and all monetary donations. Should you require any further resources, please contact the Office of Philanthropy team.