65-year-old man becomes first Covid patient to get antibody cocktail at Apollo in Delhi

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: A 65-year-old man from Delhi, having multiple co-morbidities, has become the first COVID-19 patient to receive monoclonal antibody therapy at the Apollo hospital here, the healthcare group said on Friday.

The patient responded well to the infusion of the antibody cocktail and went home after an hour of observation on Thursday, hospital authorities said.

As part of this single dose infusion-based treatment, patients with mild to moderate symptoms, are offered a cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab, that is said to reduce their chance of hospitalisation by 70 per cent.

In a statement, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi on Friday announced that “Roche India’s antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) distributed by Cipla Ltd. is available for administration to patients with mild and moderate COVID-19 infection” at its facility.

The Antibody Cocktail was launched on May 24 in India by Roche India after receiving Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO), it said.

The first patient to receive the therapy at Apollo hospital here is a 65-year-old COVID patient from Delhi who has multiple co-morbidities, including acute blood pressure, a spokesperson of the hospital said.

“We are glad to have launched a pan-India program to make available this advanced treatment comprising of neutralising monoclonal antibodies for our patients with COVID-19,” said Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals Group and seniors consultant, paediatric gastroenterology at the hospital.

Monoclonal antibodies bind to and ‘neutralise’ the SARS-CoV-2 virus, he said, adding, “we are confident that this treatment option will significantly boost our efforts to bring the pandemic under control and will help prevent progression of the disease in those with mild to moderate COVID-19”.

The therapy is most suited for “high-risk COVID-19 patients” who are within first ten days of symptom onset and meet any of the listed criteria, such as age being 65 years or above.

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Other criteria include, obesity with BMI (Body Mass Index) of more than 35; or type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus; or chronic kidney disease, including those on dialysis; or chronic liver disease; or currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment; or if aged above 55, having either heart disease, or hypertension, or chronic lung disease.

Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior pulmonologist at Apollo hospital, said the reason why this therapy is termed as an anti-body cocktail is because it comprises a mixture of biological drugs (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) that mirror the human antibodies in the immune system which consequently help fight the infection, similar to the natural antibodies produced when one gets infected with Covid.

Both these antibodies also strengthen the immune defence system, he said.

This drug is said to restrict pathogens and virus from entering the patient’s body, from where they otherwise would have derived nutrition and multiplied.

This antibody cocktail will help prevent progression of the disease to a severe stage, he said.

Mohabbat Singh, an 84-year-old Covid-positive man, was given monoclonal antibody therapy at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon on Tuesday and was sent home the same day, after being kept under observation, hospital authorities said on Wednesday, adding, Singh became the first patient to receive the therapy at Medanta.

Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI) in south Delhi, after receiving doses on Wednesday has started offering the therapy from Thursday, FEHI Chairman Dr Ashok Seth earlier said.





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