Eight Bengaluru patients bank on Rs 60,000 antibody cocktail | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: At least eight Covid-19 patients in the city have received a monoclonal antibody cocktail called Casirivimab and Imdevimab. The new drug, which comes in the form of two doses of Rs 60,000 each, offers hope to comorbid patients who have mild to moderate coronavirus infection but face higher risk of developing complications.
Of the eight, two got the drug at St John’s Medical College Hospital on Tuesday. The two men, aged 52 and 38, had undergone a kidney transplant earlier, and have been given the dose to prevent their mild symptoms from turning into a severe infection.
The other six patients, including three women, received the antibody cocktail at Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road. The first session was held on May 27. “Obesity was the major risk factor in two of the patients. Though they were having mild to moderate infection, the scale of severity could have potentially progressed, given the risk factors,” said Dr Satynarayana Mysore, HOD, pulmonology, Manipal.
Antibodies are proteins generated by the body’s immune system to fight disease. Monoclonal antibodies are labmade proteins that mimic this response. The new drug, for which Roche India got the emergency use authorisation on May 5, binds to the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2, limiting its replication, according to doctors. It gained global attention last year after it was given to Donald Trump. But it is not advisable for patients with an oxygen requirement or severe Covid-19.
“A charitable trust and some good Samaritans helped me obtain the drug from Delhi,” said the 52-year-old patient who got it on Tuesday. He is a resident of Adugodi.
“People with kidney disease are at a high risk of developing complications. The drug can benefit those on immunosuppressants following transplants, like the 52-year old patient. This is our first prescription,” said Dr Sanjiv Lewin, the chief of medical services of St John’s. “The combination of Casirivimab and Imdevimab is approved for emergency use to prevent progression to severe Covid in high-risk patients. It is not commonly used. This patient needs no oxygen and has been hospitalised only for administration of the medication.”
The drug is available at Apollo Specialty Hospitals, but doctors are yet to choose a patient. “It’s meant for people with mild disease but with a high risk of progression. Patients aged over 65 and those with comorbidities like blood pressure, diabetes and renal disorder are suggested. The person must have a normal oxygen saturation level. We want to screen patients before using the drug,” said Dr Ravindra Mehta, the chief of pulmonary, critical care and interventional pulmonology at Apollo Specialty Hospitals.
He added: “This can be used for a mild Covid subset of patients, who are willing to spend money to lower the risk of progression. It is an expensive drug.”
Patients will require hospitalisation for the administration of the medication. “In India, we don’t have a daycare concept for Covid treatment yet. As we will be using the drug for the first time, it will be done after getting patients admitted,” said a doctor.

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Sagar Biswas

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