June 22, 2021

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Here’s everything you need to know

The monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment is not new and has been included as one of the treatment options that the natural immune system works to fight cancer. (Representative Image: IE)

by dr. BS Ajai Kumar,

With COVID-19 overwhelming us all mentally, physically and socially, there is an additional responsibility on drug manufacturers to find innovative and novel solutions that work for people’s well-being, including, of course, the vaccine. So far, drug manufacturers have done their best. As we live for everyone to be vaccinated, some immediate therapies are needed which can potentially slow down the negative effects of COVID-19 on the human body.

Recently, there has been a lot of positive talk after the announcement and release of the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment in India. It is seen in the current context as a game changer and could potentially be THE solution the healthcare community is looking for. The monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment is not new and has been included as one of the treatment options that the natural immune system works to fight cancer.

These lab-produced engineered molecules are designed to act as replacement antibodies that can repair, amplify, or mimic the immune system’s attack on cancer cells. This antibody cocktail treatment helps reverse cancer and save patients’ lives.

This is a good turnaround in unprecedented times. Now that this is central, the least we want to achieve is to allay the fear of Covid and, in particular, help cure cancer patients.

Here’s what we need to know and understand:

  • High-risk patients are those over the age of 60 with comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes or with severe cardiovascular disease, lung, kidney, liver disease, immunosuppression, i.e. cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplant, immunodeficiency, HIV (if under control or signs of AIDS), sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs.
  • A combination of neutralizing antibodies, Casirivimab and Imdevimab, has been approved for limited emergency use by the Indian regulatory agency, CDSCO, for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients with covid-19 infection. laboratory confirmed and high risk of severe COVID-19 – with the risk of hospitalization.
  • This cocktail is effective in reducing hospitalization in approximately 70% of suitable candidates (aged 12 years or older, weighing at least 40 kg, who are not hospitalized patients and do not require oxygen supplementation) when administered. within 7 days of administration onset of symptoms.
  • It is safe for patients with chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, and immunosuppressed individuals with no significant side effects. Given its safety profile, it is a good alternative and does not play a role in immunomodulation.
  • Casirivimab and imdevimab should be administered together after confirmation of infection, within 10 days of symptom onset. Data shows that it works best within 3 days of symptom onset and efficacy up to 7 days of symptom onset.
  • The EUA (Emergency Authorization) approval lasts up to 10 days. Efficacy correlates with a high viral load which usually occurs up to the first 5 days of symptom onset. According to recent studies, doses of 600 mg of Casirivimab and 600 mg of Imdevimab are recommended in India. More recent studies have also used the subcutaneous dosing method as an option. This provides the opportunity to administer the drug easily, possibly even at home.
  • Possible side effects include reactions such as fever, difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, discomfort, weakness, nausea, headache, throat irritation, rash, etc. Serious hypersensitivity reactions have been reported rarely.
  • The cocktail is known to resist variants native to the UK, South Africa, Brazil, New York and California California

Prevention is key: If patients are given the drug cocktail at the right time, severity / hospitalization can be avoided, especially in chronic cases. With the current situation in which we are short of funds, we must do everything possible to delay or prevent a chronic condition in patients affected by Covid-19 and to help reduce the burden on the healthcare sector and families.

(The author is Executive President and CEO of HCG. He has been awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the CII Regional Emerging Entrepreneurs Award and the BC Roy Award from the Indian Science Monitor. He is also the recipient of the Karnataka Award. Rajyotsava. This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult health care professionals and medical professionals before starting any therapy or medication. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)

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