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Monoclonal antibody a game-changer? Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital uses therapy to treat Covid patients

Monoclonal antibody therapy treatment has previously been used to treat infections such as Ebola and HIV. (Twitter)Premium
Monoclonal antibody therapy treatment has previously been used to treat infections such as Ebola and HIV. (Twitter)

  • The two Covid-19 patients, who were administered the REGCov2 (Casirivimab and Imdevimab), designed to produce resistance against the SARS-CoV-2, recovered and were discharged within 12 hours of being given the doses

Doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi have reported successful use of monoclonal antibody therapy in two Covid-19 patients with fast progression of symptoms within the first seven days.

The two patients, who were administered the REGCov2 (Casirivimab and Imdevimab), designed to produce resistance against the SARS-CoV-2, recovered and were discharged within 12 hours of being given the doses.

A 36-year-old healthcare worker with high-grade fever, cough, myalgia, severe weakness, and leucopenia was administered REGCov2 on day six of the disease, according to the press release of the hospital.

"Patient's parameter improved within 12 hours and was discharged," the release added.

Monoclonal antibodies are identical copies of an antibody that targets one specific antigen. This treatment has previously been used to treat infections such as Ebola and HIV.

The second case was of the 80-year-old RK Razdan who was both diabetic and hypertensive and had high-grade fever and cough.

Razdan's oxygen saturation was more than 95% on room air. Monoclonal antibody and a CT scan confirmed mild disease.

"A CT scan confirmed mild disease. He was given REGCov2 on day 5. The patient's parameter improved within the next 12 hours," the hospital said in a statement.

Dr Pooja Khosla, Senior Consultant, Department of Medicine, SGRH, said monoclonal antibody therapy could prove to be a game-changer if used at an appropriate time.

"Monoclonal antibody could prove to be a game-changer in times to come if used at an appropriate time. It can avoid hospitalisation in high-risk groups and progression to severe disease. It can help escaping or reducing the usage of steroids and immunomodulation which would further reduce the risk of fatal infections like Mucormycosis, secondary bacterial and viral infections like CMV," she said.

"The awareness about early identification of high-risk category in our population and timely therapy with Monoclonal antibody as day care treatment may reduce the burden of cost on healthcare sector," she added.

"Patients with these symptoms rapidly progress towards moderate to severe stage. In this case, high fever persisted for five days and total leukocytes count dropped to 2,600. After we gave him monoclonal antibody therapy, his parameters improved within eight hours. The patient has been discharged," she added.

As per studies, this "antibody cocktail treatment" for coronavirus can prevent case escalation from mild to moderate illness to severe, which then requires hospitalisation in 70% of the cases, according to doctors.

The therapy is most suited for "high-risk Covid-19 patients" who are within the first 10 days of the symptom onset and meet any of the listed criteria such as their age being 65 years or above.

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