Pharmaceutical companies Cipla and Roche India on Monday announced the launch of a coronavirus antibody drug cocktail to treat non-hospitalised patients who face high risks of their infections turning severe. The high-risk category includes patients above the age of 60, and those suffering from co-morbidities like diabetes and heart, liver and kidney ailments.
The drug, which will come in packs of two doses, will cost Rs 59,750 per dose for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate symptoms, PTI reported.
“The first batch of the antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) is now available in India while a second batch will be made available by mid-June,” Cipla and Roche said in a joint statement. “In total they can potentially benefit 2,00,000 patients as each of the 1,00,000 packs that will be available in India offers treatment for two patients.”
An antibody cocktail is a mix of two or more unique biological drugs that act like human antibodies to help fight the infection.
The Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation had recently provided an emergency use authorisation for the antibody cocktail in India, the release mentioned. The drug has also received emergency use authorisation in the United States and several European Union countries.
The drug, which has been developed by New York-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, will be imported in India by Roche Pharma and marketed and distributed through a strategic partnership with Cipla.
Cipla Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Umang Vohra tweeted about the development on Monday. “Hoping this antibody cocktail casirivimab and imdevimab provides the much needed relief to patients and healthcare system in India,” Vohra said.
India is battling a devastating second wave of coronavirus that has led to widespread shortages of medical oxygen and medicines in Delhi and several other states. India on Monday reported 2,22,315 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection tally to 2,67,52,447 since the pandemic first broke out in January 2020. The toll climbed by 4,454 to 3,03,720. With this, India is now the third country in the world, after the United States and Brazil, to log over 3 lakh deaths.