Know What Is COVID Antibody Cocktail Treatment, Who Should Take The Therapy

Bhubaneswar: An 82-year-old man with comorbidities became the first COVID-19 patient in Odisha to receive the antibody-drug cocktail authorised by the Centre.

“The COVID-19 parameters of the patient are stable after being given the monoclonal antibody therapy,” Dr Paresh Jena, senior consultant, department of medicine, Apollo Hospitals, Bhubaneswar, told Odisha Bytes.

While this is a piece of good news for hundreds of people battling COVID-19 in hospitals and could be a game-changer in the treatment of the virus, is this therapy for everyone. We find out:

What is an antibody cocktail?

It is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that the body generates to defend itself against any disease. These antibodies are produced in a laboratory setting to be infused into the blood. The monoclonal antibodies are tailor-made to fight a particular disease.

Casirivimab and Imdevimab, from Switzerland-based drug-maker Roche, are specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. They block the virus’s attachment and subsequent entry into human cells. Using two antibodies protects against the body’s resistance to them.

Who should take antibody cocktail?

The antibody cocktail treatment is for mild to moderate coronavirus disease in non-hospitalised patients, who are confirmed to be infected with SARS-COV2 and stand a high risk of developing a serious COVID-19 disease.

High-risk includes patients over 60 and/or those who have various comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, chronic lung or kidney disease, diabetes etc, stated a report in India Today.

The therapy must be administered within 48-72 hours of a patient testing positive for COVID-19.

In paediatric patients, it is recommended for those who are 12 years or older and weighing at least 40 kg.

NOT recommended for patients who are hospitalised due to severe COVID-19 conditions and require oxygen therapy.

How is it administered?

An antibody cocktail is an injection and administered intravenously or subcutaneously. It takes about 20-30 minutes for a full dose of an antibody cocktail to be administered. The patient will then be monitored for one hour to check for any adverse reactions, said health experts in the city.

These antibodies attach to the spike protein of the coronavirus and prevent it from attaching to the human cells and hence preventing symptoms and progression of the disease, state medical studies.

Regeneron and Roche are the two pharmaceutical companies that received emergency-use authorisation in India on May 5. The cocktail is distributed by Cipla.

What is the price?

It is priced at around Rs 59,000 for a dose of 1,200 mg (600 mg each of Casirivimab and Imdevimab).

In March this year, Roche announced the results of its Phase-III global trials in high-risk non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients. The results showed the antibody cocktail drug significantly reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 70% and shortened the duration of symptoms by four days.

The therapy gained popularity after former President of the USA Donald Trump was administered the cocktail when he had tested positive for COVID-19 last year.

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