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Newly introduced Roche's antibody-drug to aid patients by reducing viral infectivity

A total of 2,00,000 patients are expected to benefit from the cocktail jabs.

Augmenting the range of medical resources available for the treatment of COVID patients, Roche India introduced the first set of antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) against Coronavirus. Open for distribution through an announcement on Monday, the cocktail drug will be retailed by Cipla across all regions of India. It is expected that the second batch will be brought to the market by mid-June, benefitting a large count of affected patients.


Drugs to be given in mild to moderate disease only

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After the two batches, containing a total of 1,00,000 jabs are available in the system, they will help 2,00,000 patients in their battle against the virus. It has been stated that the price for each dose will be ₹59,750 and a multi-dose packet will cost ₹119,500. With the help of recombinant DNA technology, monoclonal antibodies are produced. Informing about the usage directives, the company said that they will be given to individuals with mild to moderate disease.

The drug will only be administered to adults and kids above 12, weighing at least 40 kgs who do not require supplemental oxygen support. It has been inferred through studies that the cocktail reduces the possibilities of disease progression into severe stages, thereby lowering the need for hospitalisation. It has also been said that the mortality reduces by 70% and the period of symptoms also shrinks by four days.

Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) obtained for the drug

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V Simpson Emmanuel, Managing Director and CEO, Roche Pharma India said, "Roche is deeply committed to supporting the ongoing efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, mitigate the deadly second wave and save lives. We are optimistic that the availability of antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) in India can help in minimising hospitalisation, ease the burden on healthcare systems and play a key role in treatment of high-risk patients before their condition worsens."

Umang Vohra, MD and Global CEO Cipla said that the company will deploy the best of its efforts for efficient disbursement and retail and increase accessibility to the inventive alternative. Given the severity of the present circumstances, the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) had provided an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) in India. Similar consents have also been procured in the USA and some EU nations.

Strict monitoring necessary to arrest progressive reactions

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While a medical prescription is mandatory to get the drug, it can only be administered in the presence of health care professionals. There should be ensured availability of medications that can aid in the treatment of reactions. The intravenous administration procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes. Under the subcutaneous route, four syringes of 2.5 ml (2 each of Casirivimab & Imdevimab) have to be given one after the other at four different spots on the abdomen and thighs. It is necessary to maintain strict vigilance over the patient's condition during the intrafusion and 4 hours after the procedure.

Every unit of antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) contains one dose of Casirivimab and one dose of Imdevimab totaling 2400 mg of the antibody cocktail (one vial of Casirivimab (1200 mg) and one vial of Imdevimab (1200 mg)). It has been said that each packet can help two patients. According to the company's storage guidelines, the vials have to be placed in regulated settings with temperatures between 2 to 8 degrees celsius. Once opened for the first dose, the second vial will have to be administered within a period of 48 hours after and it should be kept in the aforesaid temperature range.

- With inputs from IANS

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