NEWS | July 30, 2020

DOD Awards Johns Hopkins University $35 Million for COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Research

By Press Release

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, EDGEWOOD AREA, Md. – July 30, 2020 – The Department of Defense (DOD) awarded a $35 million contract to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to conduct two nationwide clinical trials aimed at testing the effectiveness of an outpatient treatment of convalescent blood plasma. Convalescent plasma, or plasma that has been removed from the blood of a person who has recovered from a disease, then transfused into a patient battling the same disease, may prove beneficial in improving the immune system’s ability to fight COVID-19.

The DOD’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) executed a bilateral other transaction authority (OTA) agreement with JHU, in coordination with the Defense Health Agency (DHA), to support novel coronavirus medical countermeasure acceleration efforts. The trials will help researchers determine whether convalescent blood plasma therapy can effectively be used to treat people in the early stages of COVID-19 illness, or prevent the infection in those at high risk of exposure to the virus, including military service members.
“We’re proud to assist this convalescent plasma prophylaxis research through our other transaction authority,” said Douglas Bryce, Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense. “Developing effective countermeasures against COVID-19 is critical to the success of our warfighters and their mission.”

Results from both studies will help to determine if convalescent plasma can benefit patients suffering from some of the worst effects of COVID-19. It is anticipated that these plasma products may protect the nation’s Joint Forces from COVID-19; either by preventing infection altogether, or by drastically reducing symptoms, ultimately keeping our servicemen and women healthy and best able to complete their missions.

To learn more about the details of the JHU clinical trials, please visit: 

About the JPEO-CBRND: The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) protects the Joint Force by providing medical countermeasures and defense equipment against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. JPEO-CBRND’s goal is to enable the Joint Force to fight and win unencumbered by a CBRN environment. JPEO-CBRND facilitates the rapid response, advanced development, manufacturing and acquisition of medical solutions, such as vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, to combat CBRN and emerging threats such as COVID-19. To learn more about JPEO-CBRND’s COVID-19 response, visit or follow JPEO-CBRND on social media at @JPEOCBRND.