New Delhi: A new treatment for Covid-19 using the monoclonal antibody was successfully administered in two patients in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi. Reports said that both patients recovered and were discharged within 12 hours after the antibody therapy. Patients were reportedly exhibiting a fast progression of symptoms seven days after being infected.
Monoclonal antibodies are engineered by cloning a unique white blood cell. They are identical copies of an antibody that targets one specific antigen. The REGCov2 (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) is designed to produce resistance against the coronavirus. Antibody therapy has been successfully used to treat infections like Ebola and HIV.
A senior consultant at the hospital, Dr Pooja Khosla said that "if used at an appropriate time, monoclonal antibodies could prove to be a game-changer soon". She added that identifying high-risk cases in the population and timely administration of Monoclonal antibodies may be able to reduce the cost for the healthcare sector.
The press release by the hospital said that one of the patients was a 36-year-old health worker on the 6th day of the disease, and had a high-grade fever, cough, myalgia, severe weakness, and leukopenia.
The second patient was 80-years-old with diabetes, high-grade fever, cough, and hypertension. His CT scan showed a mild case of Covid-19 and was administered REGCov2 on Day 5 of the disease.
Dr Khosla said that antibody therapy can avoid hospitalisation for high-risk patients. It can also prevent the progression of the infection. "The new treatment can also help doctors to avoid or reduce the use of steroids and immunomodulation. This will in turn lower the risk of fatal infections like Mucormycosis (black fungus), secondary bacterial and viral infections like CMV (herpesvirus 5), she added.
Antibody therapy is known in the health sector for helping former US President Donald Trump to recover from Covid-19. In India, the treatment is priced at Rs 59,750 per dose.