Meet The COVID-19Antibody Cocktail

What is this cocktail about and how it can help us during these tiring times?

On Monday, drug majors Roche India and Cipla announced the launch of Roche’s Antibody Cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) in India. Roche has stated that both of these neutralising antibodies have been designed in such a way that they can block the virus’ attachment and entry in human cells. This cocktail has been made to counter the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and will lower the risk of losing “neutralisation potency against new emerging variants.”

The drug will be available via leading hospitals and COVID treatment centres. The drug has received an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) in India. The antibody cocktail has also received an EUA in the US and several EU countries.

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

The MD and Global CEO of Cipla, Umang Vohra said that the antibody cocktail has been shown to help these high-risk patients before their condition worsens, lowering the risk of hospitalisation and fatality by 70% and shortening the duration of symptoms by four days.

The companies said that the second batch of the antibody cocktail will be made available by mid-June. The cocktail will be imported by Roche Pharma India, and it will be marketed and distributed via a strategic partnership with Cipla.

The price for each patient dose [a combined dose of 1,200 mg (600 mg of Casirivimab and 600 mg of Imdevimab)] is fixed at ₹59,750 inclusive of all taxes. The maximum retail price for the multi dose pack (each pack can treat two patients) is ₹1,19,500 inclusive of all taxes.

This drug could help save a lot of people in our country. As the MD and CEO of Roche Pharma India, V Simpson Emmanuel puts it: The drug can help in minimising hospitalisation, ease the burden on healthcare systems and play a vital role in treatment of high risk patients before their condition worsens.

This cocktail sounds like an effective treatment, and it was the same treatment taken by the former U.S President Donald Trump when he was infected with the virus. Even though all this sounds great and promising, the product is still pretty expensive. So, we have to wait for a couple of months before we can understand how much it has helped the Indian people who have been infected with the virus and whether it has helped us in controlling the current COVID-19 situation.

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