UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) will donate $5 million to support a federally sponsored program aimed at accelerating and expanding the availability of investigational convalescent plasma treatments for COVID-19 patients nationwide. The initiative, led by Mayo Clinic, coordinates efforts to collect plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and distribute it to hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
“Developing therapeutics and effective treatments for COVID-19 is essential to our efforts to fight this pandemic,” said Dr. Richard Migliori, executive vice president of Medical Affairs and chief medical officer for UnitedHealth Group. “Treating patients with convalescent plasma has the potential to save many lives and we’re honored to collaborate with Mayo Clinic and support this promising research.”
Mayo Clinic is coordinating efforts across more than 1,600 sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to collect blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 donors who meet several criteria established by the FDA. To date, more than 600 patients have received convalescent plasma treatments with more being included in the study every day. Physicians at any institution treating hospitalized patients with COVID-19 can participate by visiting uscovidplasma.org.
“We’re collaborating with health care organizations across the country to develop new treatments, prevent COVID-19 and address hotspots that overburden the health care system,” said Dr. Michael Joyner at Mayo Clinic, who is leading the effort. “Early indications show that convalescent plasma treatments could help in all of these areas and we greatly appreciate UnitedHealth Group’s support to advance this critical science.”
The donation brings to nearly $70 million UnitedHealth Group’s initial commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities including:
- $30 million in efforts, including $5 million from the United Health Foundation, to protect and support health care workers.
- $10 million from the United Health Foundation to support states where COVID-19 is having an outsized impact.
- $10 million to support COVID-19 response outside of the United States.
- $5 million from the United Health Foundation to support seniors.
- $5 million from the United Health Foundation to provide care and support for people experiencing food insecurity or homelessness.
- $3 million to transition company cafeterias and staff to prepare more than 75,000 free meals for local communities each week.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.