Antibody Cocktail Used to Treat Trump Unlikely to Cause Mutations: Dr Gangakhedkar

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Dr Raman Gangakhedkar said on Sunday said Monoclonal antibody cocktail is unlikely to cause further mutations of Covid-19. The former head scientist of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at ICMR also stressed on the rational use of this method of treatment.

Dr Gangakhedkar said that in India, pharma company Roche’s antibody cocktail is already being administered to Covid-19 patients with mild infection. The drug has also received emergency use approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) earlier this month, a report in India Today said.

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The Roche’s antibody cocktail, being marketed in India by Cipla, is a mixture of two drugs – Casirivimab and Imdevimab. Dr Naresh Trehan, a noted cardiologist has even recommended its use in children over 40 kg. Cipla is marketing the drug in hospitals at an estimated price of Rs 59,000 per dose. Only one dose is needed, reports say.

The report said that Zydus Cadila has also sought approval for human trials of its antibody cocktail.

Dr Gangakhedkar said that the monoclonal antibody cocktail is unlikely to lead mutations of virus and a person may develop moderate to severe illness due to immunity response to the cocktail. He added that the antibody cocktail prevents the virus from replicating and it will not mutate.

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He said that rational use of the antibody cocktail is vital in covid treatment. It should be administered within three-ten days of the patient testing positive for Covid-19. Studies have shown that 80 percent of patients who took the drug did not need hospitalisation.

However, he added there is no evidence to indicate that monoclonal antibody treatment protects people from new variants of Covid-19.

The cocktail antibody was used during the treatment of former US President Donald Trump, when he was tested positive for Covid-19 last year.

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