'New Weapon, Works on Variants': Top Doc Vouches for Cocktail Drug as First Recipient Discharged

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The Antibody Cocktail, launched in India on Monday for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients, is working against the disease, Dr Naresh Trehan said on Wednesday. One of the top doctors in the country, Trehan also said that the Antibody Cocktail, which is a combination of Casirivimab and Imdevimab, is effective against the B.1.617 variant of coronavirus, first found in India.

“When casirivimab and imdevimab are injected into infected patient in early stage, it blocks virus from entering cells of patient. It is working against Covid-19 and also effective against B.1.617. This is a new weapon,” news agency ANI quoted Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta Hospitals.

The combination drug was first administered to an 84-year-old man from Haryana, Mohabbat Singh, who was under treatment for the last five days Medanta Hospital in Gurugram. The cocktail drug produced by Roche India was administered to Singh on Tuesday over a 30-minute intravenous supply.

“The man with multiple comorbidities got injected yesterday and he went home. We’re going to follow him. Virus multiplication drops especially in those people who have high virus load and also in those who are at high risk of severe infection,” said Dr Trehan.

The Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) had recently provided an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the Antibody Cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) in India. It has also received a EUA in the US and several EU countries.

“It has been used extensively in USA and Europe. The experience shows that when the it is given in first seven days of infection, 70-80% of people who’re going to be entering hospitals for treatment will not need hospitalisation,” he added.

Drug majors Roche India and Cipla on Monday announced launch of Roche's Antibody Cocktail in India priced at Rs 59,750 per dose. Cipla will distribute the cocktail drug produced by Roche India.

The maximum retail price for the multi dose pack (each pack can treat two patients) is Rs 1,19,500 inclusive of all taxes As per the statement, the drug will be available through leading hospitals and COVID treatment centers.

The antibody cocktail is to be administered for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older, weighing at least 40 kg) who are confirmed to be infected with SARS-COV2 and who are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease and do not require oxygen.

Umang Vohra, MD and Global CEO Cipla said it has been shown to help these high-risk patients before their condition worsens, reducing the risk of hospitalization and fatality by 70 per cent and shortening the duration of symptoms by four days.

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