Hospital begins monoclonal antibody treatment
Kauvery Hospital in Chennai has treated a mildly symptomatic but high-risk COVID-19 patient with the monoclonal antibody cocktail that has been approved for emergency use in India. A statement issued by the hospital claimed that this was the first time the treatment had been used by a hospital in Tamil Nadu.
The individual was a cancer patient, who was recently diagnosed with early onset of renal failure, and hence was at higher risk of developing severe complications due to COVID-19.
The drug used was a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab, which are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the human immune system in fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The drug, developed by the U.S.-based Regeneron and manufactured in partnership with the Switzerland-based Roche, is said to bring down hospitalisation by 70% when administered in the early stage of COVID-19.
The Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation of India had provided Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to use the drug for high-risk patients earlier this month.
Anita Ramesh, senior consultant, medical oncology, Kauvery Hospital, said the drug would help in reducing the multiplication of the virus and thus avoiding severe complications and hospitalisation. It has been found to be safe for use even among children above 12 years of age, she added.
Aravindan Selvaraj, co-founder and executive director of the hospital, said the drug would be effective for cases that start with mild disease and then rapidly progress to critical situations.