Forty patients recovered from clinical covid-19 within 24 hours after being injected with a monoclonal antibody cocktail in a study in the Asian hospital of gastroenterology, Hyderabad.
One of the most extensive studies is currently underway in the Asian hospital of gastroenterology in Hyderabad. Forty covid patients with mild to moderate symptoms were injected with a single dose of monoclonal antibody cocktail. The patients recovered from all symptoms within 24 hours and were found negative on the RT-PCR one week from the administration of the drug cocktail.
Where did it come from?
A while ago, when the former president of USA, hon. Mr. Donald Trump got infected with the coronavirus, the US team of doctors treated him with monoclonal antibody therapy, and ever since, the whole world has tried adopting it.
Multiple studies in the US have shown the therapy to be effective against the English, South African, and Brazilian variants, but this is the first study testing its efficacy against the delta variant of coronavirus, responsible for nearly 85% of the cases in India.
Composition and administration
The single dose of monoclonal antibodies therapy uses two medicines, Casirivimab and Indevimab. 600 milligram each of the two drugs is mixed together like a cocktail. It can be administered intravenously or even subcutaneously like an injection, but the intravenous mode of administration is preferred. One dose of the antibody cocktail is given to the patient within 30 minutes, and the patient is then kept under observation for an hour to check for any adverse reactions.
Is it the cure?
Doctors have advised caution about excessive hype around the therapy and label “life-saving drug.” Doctors across the globe have claimed that even though the treatment helps prevent the development of severe symptoms of Covid-19 among mild to moderately infected patients with severe comorbidities, it does not cure the disease.
It is only effective if administered within seven days of the infection and is not administered post this 7-day window or after the disease has already taken a severe course. If given early, the treatment can potentially reduce the chance of hospitalisation by 70 percent in patients.
India has approved Regeneron and Roche’s antibody cocktail for emergency use and is being distributed in India by the drug maker Cipla. The first batch of the drug became available in the nation about a month after it got authorisation from the officials. It is currently being administered in several states in the country. The Medanta Hospital in Gurugram, Haryana, was the first hospital to offer the therapy, and others soon followed.
Away from the clinical trials, the therapy is showing great results on the field as well. A Delhi hospital reported that two patients showed remarkable recovery from the onset of symptoms of COVID-19 and were discharged within hours following the beginning of the treatment with monoclonal antibodies. The reports from multiple hospitals in Mumbai are equally positive, with patients across age groups showing quicker recovery.
The drug cocktail has raised everyone’s hopes and will soon be available across the country for administration. The major challenge it faces is the fact that the drug costs INR 60,000 for a single dose putting it out of reach for most.