Nearly 40 COVID patients at Hyderabad’s Asian Institute of Gastroenterology who took a single-dose cocktail of monoclonal antibodies recovered from clinical symptoms like fever and malaise in 24 hours, a report said on Sunday.
The institute 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,” NDTV quoted Dr Nageshwar Reddy, chairman of the institute, as saying.
“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 [test].”
The monoclonal antibody therapy is said to reduce the severity of the disease in very early stages, in patients with mild to moderate symptoms. The cocktail of antibodies is given within three to seven days of infection.
Casirivimab and Indevimab are the two medicines that go into the drug cocktail. The therapy costs around ₹70,000 in India.
Monoclonal antibodies made news as a treatment for COVID-19 when they were given to former US president Donald Trump last year after he tested positive for the disease. It was described at the time as an “experimental antibody cocktail” and the New York Times said it was “one of the most promising candidates” in the early treatment of the disease. Initial results, the newspaper said, had “suggested that they can reduce the level of the virus in the body and possibly shorten hospital stays — when they are given early in the course of infection”.