In news- Two private hospitals in Chennai recently launched ‘monoclonal antibodies cocktail’ therapy for Covid-19 patients.
About the therapy-
- The antibody therapy is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies – Casirivimab and Imdevimab injection and was designed specifically to block the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2.
- When given to patients with mild symptoms in an early stage of Covid-19, it helps reduce the multiplication of the coronavirus.
- Thus it avoids worsening of the disease and the need for hospitalisation.
- The drug is administered either through the intravenous or subcutaneous (under the skin) route, through an infusion or injection.
- It becomes active soon after entering the body.
- Children above the age of 12 years, with mild symptoms can be given the drug.
- The therapy was first used to treat former United States President Donald Trump in 2020.
- Recent clinical studies have shown that antibody therapy or antibody-drug cocktail can reduce the chance of hospitalisation by 70 per cent in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
- Monoclonal antibodies are artificially created in a laboratory by recombinant DNA technology and tailor-made to fight a particular disease.
- Cipla and Switzerland-based Roche have launched this antibody cocktail in the market.
- The therapy is most suited for “high-risk COVID-19 patients” who are within the first ten days of symptom onset and meet any of the listed criteria.
- Other criteria include obesity with BMI (Body Mass Index) of more than 35; or type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus; or chronic kidney disease or liver disease; or currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment; or if aged above 55, have either heart disease or hypertension or chronic lung disease.
- This therapy is meant for people who are under home isolation and do not need oxygen support, so the cut-off level of SpO2 is about 93 per cent.
- It is not meant for people in ICU or on ventilators or needing any kind of oxygen support and those patients who have anaphylaxis which could entail severe allergic reaction.
- The therapy has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration of the United States and has also been cleared by India’s top drug regulator the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
- The Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) has provided an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the antibody cocktail in India.
- Zydus Cadila is the only Indian company to have developed a neutralizing monoclonal antibody-based cocktail ZRC-3308 and has sought DCGI approval for a clinical trial.