Switzerland-based drug-maker Roche’s Antibody Cocktail is now available in India. Speaking to India Today TV, noted cardiologist Dr Naresh Trehan said Antibody Cocktail could reduce hospitalisation need by 70 per cent and be given to children in certain cases.
Roche’s Antibody Cocktail hogged the headlines last year when then US president Donald Trump was prescribed its doses for treatment of Covid-19.
A mixture of two drugs, Casirivimab and Imdevimab, the Antibody Cocktail is being marketed by Cipla in India and will be made available at a select few hospitals, including Medanta.
Antibody Cocktail is known to block the reproduction of spiked proteins, said Medanta chairman and managing director Dr Naresh Trehan.
“It gives a lot of hope to people who may require hospitalisation; Protect yourself but unfortunately you if get Covid, there is relief available from Wednesday onwards”: Medanta CMD Dr. Naresh Trehan on new Covid antibody cocktail drug. #5iveLive #CovidDrug #SecondWave pic.twitter.com/usOPZCyjsJ— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) May 24, 2021
He said this anti-Covid drug can be given to children for treating Covid-19. Dr Trehan, however, added a rider saying the drug can be administered to children only if their weight was over 40 kg.
Dr Trehan said Antibody Cocktail must be administered within 48-72 hours of a patient testing positive for Covid-19, if not sooner.
“The efficacy [of Antibody Cocktail] is 70 per cent. This means 70 per cent of people who would otherwise need to go to hospital will not need hospitalisation. It will also reduce the death rate,” said Dr Trehan.
Use of this Antibody Cocktail will prevent people from getting very sick and needing a hospital bed, said Dr Naresh Trehan. It will also reduce hospitalisation by three-four days as well as incidents of death, he said.
What is Antibody Cocktail?
Antibody Cocktail – a drug that falls in the category of monoclonal antibody therapy – has been tested on multiple variants of coronavirus. Antibody Cocktail comprises 600 mg each of Casirivimab and Imdevimab.
A study conducted by the Methodist Hospital Network in Houston, the US showed that Antibody Cocktail reduced hospitalisation among Covid-19 patients, Dr Trehan said.
He said the study also showed how the drug reduced deaths among Covid-19 patients by 80 per cent.
Dr Trehan said the effectiveness of Antibody Cocktail came from the fact that it blocked the virus from entering human cells, so they didn’t get nutrition to replicate.
How is Antibody Cocktail administered?
Antibody Cocktail can be administered intravenous or subcutaneous (under the skin) as an injection. In the case of a subcutaneous injection, four spots in the body will be needed where these injections can be given, said Dr Trehan.
Dr Trehan said once the RT-PCR test returns positive for Covid-19, the patient could go to a facility where Antibody Cocktail was being administered. The drugs – Casirivimab and Imdevimab – are mixed just before Antibody Cocktail is administered.
It takes about 20-30 minutes for Antibody Cocktail to be administered. The patient will then be monitored for one hour to check for any reactions.
Antibody Cocktail will be administered at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram, Haryana from Wednesday onwards, said Dr Trehan. The single-dose Antibody Cocktail costs Rs 59,750 per dose inclusive of all taxes.
“It is expensive but if it going to prevent severe illness, hospitalisation and death, it is worth the cost”: Medanta CMD Dr. Naresh Trehan on the new Covid antibody cocktail drug
Watch #5iveLive LIVE now #India #SecondWave #CoronavirusPandemic #CovidDrug pic.twitter.com/TMwkrXpGo8— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) May 24, 2021
Asked about the cost of Antibody Cocktail, Dr Naresh Trehan said it was priced steeply but compared to the cost of hospitalisation and to prevent severe infection or death, it was worth the cost.
“We have been appealing to the companies to reduce the cost. If it is successful, it is multiple times paid off. Over the course of time, the price will also come down,” Dr Trehan told India Today TV.
Medanta will record the data of all patients who are administered Antibody Cocktail and publish a post-market study to determine its efficacy, said Dr Naresh Trehan.