Covid-19 is a pandemic that has hit the lives of millions of people in as disastrous a way as one can imagine. It starts to affect people with simple ailments initially but with the wheel of time, it can lead to severe conditions, even death.
There have been rigorous endeavours by scientists and doctors alike, from the very first day of its inception, to curate the best possible cure for it. One such attempt is monoclonal antibody therapy.
Read on to know all about monoclonal antibodies for Covid-19!
What are Monoclonal Antibodies?
To fight any kind of viral infection, our body develops antibodies that stick to the virus and block its normal function or flag it as ‘foreign’. Monoclonal antibodies are similar kinds of artificial antibodies that mimic the activity of the immune system of humans. They are used to treat multiple diseases from cancer, diseases of the immune system to childhood viral infections.
MABs are produced through a process that involves extracting specific antibodies from human blood and then cloning them.
How do they work?
In the monoclonal antibody therapy, the antibodies are designed to target a virus or a specific part of one like REGEN-COV2 is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibody drugs which is developed to target the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. They bind to the specific parts of the spike protein in order to block the virus’s ability to infect healthy cells.
What is the link between Covid-19 and Monoclonal Antibodies?
The researches that have taken place in and for the pandemic have increased optimism in the ability of monoclonal antibodies to reduce the risk of hospitalisation of affected people. Over the top, there are some MABs that have shown the ability to fight against multiple variants of the virus.
While being a promising and crucial part of the treatment against the virus, they come with certain limitations as well – monoclonal antibody therapy in Covid treatment proves to be successful only in the case of mild to moderate Covid-19. They have not been endorsed for application in cases of severe Covid-19 along with those patients who require the support of oxygen.
What do the studies deduce?
According to the researches, hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19 who have not mounted a natural antibody response of their own can be saved from the risk of death by a fifth as compared to others.
Monoclonal antibody infusion for Covid-19 has reduced the stay in hospitals of the patients who lacked their own natural antibody response by four days. It has also helped the people by reducing the need for assistance from the ventilators.
Are Monoclonal Antibodies for Covid-19 available in India?
REGEN-COV2 is available for use in India since May, 2021. In the beginning of the successive month, June, another antibody therapy for Covid-19 received approval from the government.
Both the cocktails can be used for those with mild to moderate Covid-19, who do not require oxygen and who are at a higher risk of the disease getting even severe.
For more information regarding monoclonal antibody therapy for Covid-19,