Mumbai: Monoclonal Antibody Therapy helps 2 obese patients fight COVID-19

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy, dubbed as a breakthrough treatment for high risk COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms, has helped four patients recover significantly at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital. Since June 1, the cocktail therapy has been successfully administered in four patients with multiple co-morbid conditions, including two severely obese individuals with BMI of over 45.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight harmful pathogens. The two monoclonal antibodies -Casirivimab and Imdevimab-are specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells and result in faster recovery. In February 2021, the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the antibody cocktail for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The therapy was introduced in India, in May 2021 to minimise the mutation.

Dr Salil Bendre Consultant Pulmonologist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, said a 58-year-old severely obese and chronic smoker weighing 130kg with a history of severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome was the first to receive the antibody cocktail on June 2. “He was a high risk patient with complaints of mild symptoms, such as body ache, but no hypoxia. Since he had tested positive just two days ago on May 30, we decided to administer the monoclonal cocktail in anticipation of a severe COVID-19 illness. However, the patient was kept under observation for 48 hours and discharged thereafter,” he said. “Meanwhile, the patient could have suffered a COVID-19 illness due to his existing comorbidity. But two weeks on, he is stable and asymptomatic,” Dr Bendre added.

Moreover, the antibody cocktail is proving to be beneficial for a bedridden 50-year-old woman (125kg) with a history of poliomyelitis, hypertension and borderline diabetes.

Dr Girish Parmar, senior consultant, endocrinology and diabetology, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, who’s been treating the woman said that she visited the hospital on the seventh day of contracting COVID-19. “The patient had mild symptoms, such as cough and fever. Since she was a high risk patient, within the initial window of disease advancement, we administered the monoclonal cocktail on June 9. She is currently asymptomatic and shows signs of speedy recovery,” said Dr Parmar.

The other two patients who have received the antibody cocktail include a 50-year-old woman with uncontrolled diabetes and cardiac issues and a 57-year-old man with hypertension. His fever didn’t subside for seven days. Both the patients had mild symptoms. Despite the comorbidities, they showed signs of early recovery due to the monoclonal antibodies.

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