Antibody Cocktail: Symptoms Gone In A Day In 40 COVID-19 Patients
Hyderabad: A large study on the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies cocktail against the Delta variant of coronavirus is being carried out at Asian Institute of Gastroenterology.
Forty COVID-19 patients, who were given a single-dose cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, recovered from clinical symptoms like fever, malaise etc. according to chairperson of the hospital Dr Nageshwar Reddy.
The cocktail contains 2 medicines — Casirivimab and Indevimab. It costs around Rs 70,000 in India.
“Studies from the US have shown that this is effective against the British, Brazilian and South African variants also. No one else has tested it against the Delta variant that we have here. What we are doing is that we are parallelly testing whether it is effective against the mutant virus. The results that we have now is from 40 patients who we analyzed after one week. Almost in 100 per cent cases, the virus disappeared when we did RT-PCR,” Dr Reddy told an English news channel.
This antibody therapy was administered to former US President Donald Trump when he was infected with COVID-19 last year. It gained popularity thereafter.
It is believed to reduce severity of the infection in patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
Senior Pulmonologist Akshay Budhraja told The Hindu that this therapy is supposed to be given to mild COVID-19 patients who don’t require oxygen and are at high risk due to existing comorbidities. He explained that antibodies target specific proteins and destroy them before inflammation arises, which prevents worsening of symptoms such as breathlessness, blood clotting and severe pneumonia.
“Antibody response in our bodies takes 7-10 days after infection. This gives the virus a window period to attack the body. This window period can be covered by injecting monoclonal antibodies and this helps in reducing the symptoms and disease progression,” he said.
There are no major side-effects, experts say. This would also lead to a reduction in use of steroids.
Dr Reddy, however, has cautioned against misusing the cocktail. He said it should be used as and how the Ministry of Health has authorized.
Overuse can lead to more mutant viruses, he added.