84-yr-old Haryana man, first in India to get antibody cocktail against Covid-19 mutant


Gurugram (Haryana): An 84-year-old man from Haryana has become the first person in India to be administered the Covid drug cocktail, which came into limelight after it was administered to former US President Donald Trump when he tested positive for the virus last year.

Mohabbat Singh, who was under treatment for the last five days at Gurugram’s Medanta Hospital was on Tuesday given the drug over a 30 minute intravenous supply.

The cocktail of two fast acting antibodies-Casirivimab and Imdevimab is seen as a cutting-edge treatment that will provide protection to Covid-19 patients with mild and moderate symptoms before their condition deteriorates and they require hospitalization.

The first batch of the Roche antibody cocktail drug arrived in the country on Monday, according to an official announcement by Roche India and Cipla Limited.

“If these antibodies are injected into a patient infected with the Covid-19 virus at an early stage when the virus is trying to multiply then it blocks the virus from entering the cells of the patient from where it derives nutrition to multiply. So by blocking the virus they are stopping the multiplication of the virus and finally the virus spikes. It is one of the blocking mechanisms that is working against the Covid-19 virus,” Doctor Naresh Trehan, Chairman and MD of Medanta hospital told ANI.

Dr. Tehran further said that the antibodies are also effective against the new variant B.1.617.2 and this has been verified in laboratories as well.

The antibody cocktail therapy is not recommended for patients who are hospitalized due to severe Covid-19, or those who require oxygen therapy due to Covid-19 or who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to Covid-19 and in patients on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-Covid-19 related comorbidity.

“It has been tested and used extensively in the US and Europe and the experience shows that (it works) when given timely, that means the first seven days of viral replication stage or when the virus multiplies. So, by blocking it then you are reducing the severity of the disease in everybody, but also in those who had a severe infection because of comorbidities along with their age and also a high viral load. It has been found effective when given on time, the sooner you give it more effective it is,” Dr Trehan said.

This FDA-approved therapy demonstrated good efficacy in Phase 1/2 and Phase 3 studies by reducing Covid-19 related hospitalization and death by 70 per cent. Approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), this single dose infusion-based treatment can be provided on an outpatient or daycare basis and marks a dramatic shift in Covid-19 care in India.

“We are glad to now have access to Monoclonal Antibody Therapy in India. This fast and effective treatment for COVID -19 will save patients at the highest risk from falling critically ill, getting hospitalized or possibly dying of complications from Covid-19. We look forward to serving our patients with this therapy and saving more lives,” said Dr Naresh Trehan.

The doctor, however, said that patients are advised to check with their doctor if monoclonal antibody therapy may be beneficial to them in the treatment of their Covid-19 infection. (ANI)