Blood plasma plant expected to cover 30% of KSA needs.
RIYADH: The first-ever blood plasma plant, which is to be set up in the Kingdom, will fulfill 30 percent of the Kingdom's requirements for blood products, a senior health official said here on Sunday. Last week, Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih signed a multimillion-riyal agreement with a specialized French company to set up a blood plasma producing plant funded by the Public Investment Fund with French expertise. During the signing ceremony, the minister said the setting up of the state-of-the-art facility is being implemented following the orders from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to provide the best health care services to the people. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, director general of laboratories and blood banks, said that this has been a long felt need of the Kingdom and this is going to meet one-third of patients' requirements in the Kingdom. Al-Omar said the Kingdom spends some SR332 million annually for the import of blood products to treat patients in the Kingdom. Fractionating human blood plasma yields purified and concentrated proteins from which drugs or vaccines can be made. The main steps in blood plasma fractionation are largely standardized and considered common knowledge in the field. Here, product-specific know-how lies with the operator and presents itself primarily in the variation of process parameters. The extensive experience in plant-specific process implementation stems from numerous projects for many customers. Expertise guarantees purity of isolated proteins and gap-free traceability along the entire process chain. The large part of plasma-derived products can only be created from plasma, and plasma can only be extracted from human donors. Consequently, plasma is a finite resource that cannot be replicated or mass produced in a large industrial process. Today, modern fractionation plants are large and complex, capable of fractionating millions of liters of plasma into a variety of therapeutic products. Thus, the plasma must be used efficiently by producing as many products as possible from each liter collected.
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