Questions about the donation process, its safety, and privacy
What is the donation process?
The donation process is super simple! You will show up to a plasma collection location or bus and then relax comfortably while the donation takes place. It takes about an hour. After your initial donation, we will send you a 23andMe kit and determine if you are eligible to be a regular donor. You will then be able to donate regularly if you are eligible and if you are not, you will still be compensated $135 for your first time.
When will I be able to start donating?
We will launch donation collections in the fall. In the mean time, you can keep up with us by liking us on Facebook and you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How often can I donate?
The FDA has determined that you can safely donate up to two times a week with a minimum of 48 hours in between. We recommend you donate only once per week in order to be sure that your donated plasma has enough proteins for our researchers to study.
How should I prepare for a donation?
Have a light meal and plenty to drink before hand and make sure you have enough time.
What would make me eligible to be a donor?
To be an eligible donor, be between the ages of 17-24 and have no major chronic illnesses.
Does donating hurt? What are the risks?
Most people do not have trouble with it, although the initial needle stick can be uncomfortable.. Some people become light-headed, but this can be avoided with proper hydration and nutrition before, during, and after. Some people also experience light bruising at the insertion site, though this is uncommon.
The needle and placement site are always sterilized and a new, sealed, sterile, one-time-use package is always used each time.
Who pays for the donation process?
We do! You will be reimbursed for your travel and compensated $135 for each donation.
How’s it different than donating blood?
It feels exactly the same as donating blood. However, your red blood cells are returned to you at the end of the process.
How does the company ensure that the privacy of plasma donors will be protected?
All systems are HIPAA compliant and our donor collection centers are regulated by the FDA, including federally legislated rigorous privacy controls.
What’s this 23andMe genetic test? How will I receive it? Is it safe?
23andMe (link) is one of our partners and how we figure out if you carry any genetic risk factors that would prevent you from being a regular donor. You will receive a health and ancestry report (a $199 value) for free that will tell you about your genetic health risks, carrier status, wellness, traits, and ancestry. The kit will be sent directly to you. The directions are then super simple: spit into the test tube, seal it up, and send it off in the box it came in! Your reports will then be delivered to you in about 6-8 weeks. They design their service with your privacy in mind and it is safe and FDA approved. Please feel free to read more on their website about the reports, safety, privacy, and FDA information.
Will the researchers have access to each donor’s entire 23andMe health profile? Is this profile not technically a medical record, so it isn’t protected?
Researchers will have access to anonymized donor and participant raw genetic information, but not the standard 23andMe profile. We have a research partnership with 23andme that allows us to anonymously analyze genetics without seeing the private patient information.
Questions regarding Health Anonymous, Maxwell Biosciences, the research, and services
What’s the difference between Health Anonymous and Maxwell Biosciences?
Health Anonymous is the donor-focused arm of Maxwell Biosciences. Health Anonymous focuses on donor experience. The donor is our customer.
I’ve heard Alzheimer’s has the highest failure rate for new treatments, higher than 99%, what makes y’all different?
Past trials, over 245 of them, have failed because they focused only on fighting a protein called Amyloid Beta that is statistically correlated but not causative for Alzheimer’s Disease. Our focus is on the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s Disease: things like pathogens, toxins, insulin resistance, TBI and lack of proper brain nutrition.
What would happen to this plasma bank if the therapy treatment was not able to garner FDA approval? What will happen if it does get FDA approval and when would that happen?
The plasma will be used for research into the causes and possible treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease, regardless of FDA approval. The company is pursuing approval in several countries and has already received approval in some locations. The soonest we could get United States FDA approval is 2022. If we get FDA approval, doctors all over the country will be able to treat Alzheimer’s Disease with this plasma in addition to studying it.
Will participants be charged to receive the plasma therapy? If so, how much?
In our Alzheimer’s study “HOPE” participants will not be charged. When we commercialize the service, we will provide free service to combat veterans suffering from PTSD. We do not yet have pricing for the service when it is commercialized.
What will the clinical trials look like? Will there be control groups?
The trials are double-blinded and controlled. That means an independent, third party runs the trial so that we can’t see the results until the trial is completed and some trial participants will receive a placebo treatment. It also means that we pay participants to take part in the trial. No trial participants pay for therapy. Therapy is provided free-of-charge to our trial participants.
How is the company and research funded?
There is seed money from investors funding company operations. Key research support has come from the US Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health (NIH), NorthWestern University, University of California Berkeley, and Stanford University.