When we say Keep Life Flowing, the agent of that commitment is plasma, the very fluid of life. Kedrion’s mission is to establish and facilitate a vital connection between donor and recipient by collecting and transforming plasma.
What is plasma?
In a sense, plasma is what keeps blood flowing, for plasma is the liquid that carries blood cells in suspension around the body – red cells that carry oxygen; white cells that fight disease and help heal injury; and platelets that help stem bleeding. If you take those cells out of the plasma, you are left with a straw-colored liquid that is mostly water – about 92% – but the rest of it is made up of other elements in solution that are equally vital to life. Plasma transports antibodies, clotting proteins, hormones, and enzymes; it carries nutrients (like sugars, fats, salts, minerals, etc.) to the body’s cells while removing waste products (like carbon dioxide, lactic acid, etc.). Plasma helps maintain blood pressure as well as the acid-base balance in the body.
For Kedrion plasma is the raw material
that can be transformed into life-enhancing medicine.
How do we get plasma?
Plasma can be separated from whole blood by removing the red and white blood cells and platelets. This is done by spinning the blood at high speed in a centrifuge. The cells and platelets are forced to the bottom of the container and the plasma is collected off the top.
Most people know about donating whole blood, a painless procedure that takes only about ten minutes (in addition to the time for preparation and recovery). But one can donate plasma and only plasma in a procedure called plasmapheresis, during which blood drawn from the donor’s arm flows through a tube directly into a “plasmapheresis machine” in which the plasma is separated. The blood cells and platelets are returned in a solution of saline through another tube directly back to the donor. This usually takes about 45 minutes, and plasma is rather quickly replenished in the body. The volume (typically between 650ml and 880ml) and frequency of donations are regulated by each country.
Kedrion works with donors in the United States, collecting plasma in state-of-the-art plasma collection centers. In Italy Kedrion cooperates with donor associations and the National Health System.
From plasma to medicinal product
After collection plasma is quickly frozen so it can be safely stored. Plasma is used as raw material to obtain plasma-derived products. To do this, plasma is separated into its various constituents in a process called fractionation. The isolated proteins are refined and processed to create a number of plasma derivatives like clotting factors, albumin and immunoglobulin – medicinal products that are used to treat people suffering from a range of conditions like hemophilia and immune deficiency disorders.
Kedrion develops and creates these specialized protein therapies and distributes them in more than 90 countries. Partnering with donor and patient associations, the scientific community and healthcare systems, we Keep Life Flowing. We practice and we encourage adaptation of, the highest therapeutic standards, while broadening global access to treatment.
Kedrion implements, maintains and documents its processes and activities in accordance with the highest standards of quality, including QSEAL (Quality Standards of Excellence, Assurance and Leadership) from the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA).