ResearchCOVID-19 blood research

Recovered patients carrying SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are being collected under Key Biologics newest IRB-Approved protocol to help drive therapeutic agent & vaccine development. Responding to the FDA’s call-to-action for convalesced plasma & other blood products collection, and to meet mounting requests from institutional & biopharmaceutical researchers in need of premium cells, Key Bio’s COVID-19 protocol is active in Memphis, TN and soon will soon be at its East Coast facility in Lowell, MA. 

Protocol objective for patients’ antibody-rich plasma and immune cells focuses on research versus direct transfusion, to amplify lifesaving impact and help curb the spread of the disease. Recovered patient donors will receive no experimental drug administration. Patient donors will be compensated for time & effort. 


Convalesced COVID-19 patients @ Key Biologics, remotely screened first for diagnosis, quarantine clearance, and health status via telephone or videoconference, are being collected in a physically discrete area away from regular donor collections & cell therapy patient care.  

Cell therapy patients @ Key Biologics have been segregated on-site as a Best Practice prior to COVID-19 recommendations – protections now further enhanced per CDC, WHO, and NIH guidelines for their optimal protection. 

Healthy blood donors @Key Biologics, also protected on-site per screening & socially-distanced guidelines, are continuing to be collected in discrete care space dedicated to them.  

Daily, pre-facility entrance screening of all staff, donors, & other external persons via temperature & interview assessment continues at Key Biologics, as does PPE protection of clinicians and masking of donors per CDC recommendation. An expanded assessment for convalesced COVID-19 patients is a threshold for on-site attendance and collection.


  • Males and females ages 18-50 years of age are needed. 

Recovered COVID-19 patients must

  • Have receive a diagnosis via laboratory testing ordered by a physician 
  • Must be out of any quarantine requirement imposed by local, state, or federal authorities.

Interested patients undergo a blood antibody test to confirm prior COVID-19 diagnosis, followed by blood tests and health history assessment consistent with blood-donation-for-transfusion practices and research requirements. 

Health History questionnaires and an in-person interview & physical assessment further identify COVID-19 patients’ appropriateness for plasma and immune cell donation. 

For their participation safety and the safety of others, patient-donors:

  • Must be fully recovered, with no fever
  • May not have been on antimicrobial therapy in the past 14 or more days
  • May have no clinically active respiratory disorder* requiring medication or treatment 

    *Symptoms suggestive of a respiratory condition, such as asthma, will be evaluated by Principal Investigator. 

  • May have no active gastrointestinal illness or symptoms
  • Must have adequate peripheral veins in both arms for IV access


Convalesced COVID-19 patients and others interested in learning more about becoming a Research Champion blood donor in one of Key Bio’s donor protocols are encouraged to 

  • Call Key Biologics’ Memphis clinic at ph. 901-252-3434
  • Visit Key Biologics’ COVID-19 patient-donor research web page
  • Visit Be a Research Champion® donor web page

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