Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has been experimenting with a cocktail of two antibody drugs, Casirivimab and Imdevimab, for treating mild to moderate cases of Covid in 212 patients admitted to SevenHills Hospital, Marol, and says the results are encouraging. There were no side effects of this experimental combination, which was a pleasant surprise and the treatment period was shorter - 5 to 6 days from the earlier 13 to 14 days - with just one of around 200 patients requiring oxygen, while the death rate was reduced by 70 per cent, according to civic officials.
A total of 212 patients were administered the cocktail through saline and the results for 199 of them have been received. Of these, 101 were in the 18-45 age group, 45 from the 45-59 age group and 53 were 60-plus. Seventy-four had at least one comorbidity. Before the start of the treatment, 179 had fever, while 158 had cough and fever. Also, four patients were to be put on oxygen supply. The average HRCT (High-resolution computed tomography) score was seven to eight, while the highest was 11.
Dr Balkrishna Adsul, Dean, SevenHills Hospital said after they administered the antibody cocktail to patients, fever subsided within 48 hours. Only patients above 12 years of age and weighing more than 40 kilograms and having more than one comorbidity were part of this preliminary experiment. “More importantly, none of the patients showed side effects of the cocktail. Mortality rate was reduced by 70 per cent, as also the treatment period was down from 5 to 6 days compared to patients taking other drugs in the first and second wave, who remained hospitalised for 13 to 14 days. In the current situation, although patients were recovering quickly, they were kept in the hospital for a longer period of time to study the dosage of the drugs, as well as to monitor their condition,” said Dr Adsul.
The use of this cocktail has also reduced the use of Remdesivir and other steroids, which is a positive sign, said a civic official. “This will also reduce the cost of the treatment and since hospital time is curtailed, it will ease the pressure on the medical system,” the official noted.
Similar antibody cocktail treatments are being tried out in the US since November 2020, with their then president, Donald Trump, too being the recipient of such treatment. The antibody drugs were registered with India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on May 10, 2021, and the Drug Controller General of India has permitted their use.