Grant of €1.133 million euros through the EU4Health programme to strengthen plasma collection in Europe
Plasma is a crucial raw material for many drugs and treatments. However, collecting sufficient plasma to supply patients within Europe with plasma derived medicines has many challenges. The SUPPLY project, led by the European Blood Alliance, aims to strengthen the plasma chain. The project represents a significant investment of €1.889Million towards making the EU more strategically independent in its need for plasma medicines, with the European Commission providing the SUPPLY project with a grant of €1.133Million through the EU4Health programme and €0.756Million coming from the project consortium members, including not-for-profit blood establishments.
The Covid-19 crisis has shown how fragile the world is when it comes to the collection of plasma. Plasma is necessary to produce plasma-derived drugs (PDMPs). These are life-saving treatments for many patients suffering from chronic diseases, such as immune disorders and coagulation disorders. At the same time, there is an imbalance in the global collection of plasma needed for the products, with a large European dependence on plasma coming from the US.
The SUPPLY project is working with blood banks and national authorities from across Europe to share good practices in the plasma chain with all major players. The goal is to strengthen the resilience of plasma collection in the EU to enable a stable and adequate supply of plasma derived medicines in Europe. Even, or rather especially in the case of a global crisis.
“It is essential that the European Union increases its collection of plasma and production of PDMPs to meet the needs of patients. Not-for-profit blood establishments are instrumental in reaching this goal”, said Daphne Thijssen-Timmer, Vice-President of EBA and Leader of SUPPLY. “Several positive experiences have been gained within Europe in increasing plasma collection, while respecting the principle of voluntary, unpaid donations. With the SUPPLY project we are pooling this knowledge so that the plasma chain can be strengthened throughout Europe.”
The project will assess the current legal frameworks and policies in the EU on plasma collection and procurement models to facilitate this process. As demand for plasma arises from the use of immunoglobulins, it is vital that its use is appropriate and that prioritization is properly guided. The SUPPLY project will be carried out by a large European consortium with broad and complementary expertise in all aspects of blood and plasma collection, processing and medicinal use
The main outcome of the project is a set of recommendations and guidelines for non-profit blood institutions, competent authorities, medical societies and other professional stakeholders to help them grow plasma collection and to achieve a resilient supply in the EU. In doing so, optimal availability of plasma medicines for patients will be achieved, even in times of crisis. This project will therefore contribute to making the EU more strategically independent in its plasma medicine needs.
The European Blood Alliance (EBA) is an association of not for profit Blood Establishments, with 28 members throughout the European Union and EFTA States. Its mission is threefold:
- To contribute to the availability, quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of the blood and tissue supply for the citizens of Europe by developing and maintaining an efficient and strong collaboration amongst European blood and tissue services.
- To increase public and professional awareness of voluntary and non-remunerated donation (VNRD) of blood and blood components, and of preparation of blood components as an indispensable therapeutic means to help patients.
- To assist European blood establishments to continuously improve their performance, based on scientific and ethical principles for the benefit of patients.
EBA strives towards this mission by assisting our members to improve performance through collaboration, to engage in regulatory affairs to promote best practice and to facilitate information collection and knowledge exchange.