- 40 patients have taken antibody cocktail at Hyderabad hospital
- The hospital is studying the therapy's efficacy against Delta variant
- The therapy is said to reduce disease severity in mild to moderate cases
As many as 40 Covid patients have taken a single-dose drug cocktail of monoclonal antibodies at Hyderabad's Asian Institute of Gastroenterology. "In 24 hours, they recovered from clinical symptoms like fever, malaise etc," said chairperson of the hospital, Dr Nageshwar Reddy.
Hyderabad-based Asian Institute of Gastroenterology is carrying out one of the largest studies to find out if the therapy is effective against the highly infectious Delta variant.
"Studies from the US have shown that this is effective against the British variant, Brazilian and South African variants also. No one has tested it against the Delta variant we have here. So what we are doing is that we are parallelly testing whether it is effective against the mutant virus. Results that we have now in 40 patients who we analysed after one week. almost in 100 per cent (cases), the virus disappeared when we did RT-PCR(sic)," said Dr Reddy.
The monoclonal antibody therapy is said to reduce the severity of the disease in patients with mild to moderate symptoms. It came into limelight after it was given to former US president Donald Trump when he tested positive for COVID-19 last year.
The single dose cocktail of antibodies was given to patients within three to seven days of infection.
Casirivimab and Indevimab are the two medicines that go into the drug cocktail for the monoclonal antibody therapy, which cost around Rs 70,000 or 1000 US dollars in India whereas the cost in the US is about 20,000 dollars.
Drug major Roche's antibody cocktail was given to former US President Donald Trump when he contracted COVID-19 last year.
Despite the cost, the demand for the therapy has been growing but doctors warn this cannot be overused.
"We should not misuse (the therapy). Has to be given only under specific indication as authorised by the ministry of health under EUA because if it is overused, more mutant viruses can come. It has to be carefully used in selective populations," said Dr Reddy.
The patients who have undergone the therapy are advised to get vaccinated only after three months due to the presence of high levels of antibodies after the procedure.