Antibody cocktail helps liver transplant recipient heal

The antibodies act against the spike protein of the Coronavirus (which attaches to human cells) and prevents organ damage.

Published: 07th June 2021 05:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2021 09:12 AM   |  A+A-

Scientists work with a bioreactor at a Regeneron Pharmaceuticals facility in New York state, for efforts on an experimental coronavirus antibody drug. 

This antibody cocktail will help prevent progression of the disease to a severe stage. (Representational Photo | AP)

Express News Service

BENGALURU :  In a possible first case in Karnataka, a 46-year-old man, who underwent a liver transplant three years ago, was administered the antibody cocktail injection after testing positive for Covid-19. The use of monoclonal antibody therapy (antibody cocktail), recently approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for Covid-19 patients in home isolation and have mild to moderate symptoms, is a combination of two drugs --- Casirivimab and Imdevimab.

The antibodies act against the spike protein of the Coronavirus (which attaches to human cells) and prevents organ damage. It cost Rs 60,000. Post the live transplant, the 46-year-old was on immunosuppressants so that his body does not reject the transplanted organ. This put him at a high risk of developing severe Covid-19.

Last month, he developed fever and cough for five days and tested positive for Covid-19. “As he was a high-risk candidate, with low immunity post the transplant and presented early with mild symptoms, we thought he is the ideal candidate to take the antibody cocktail.

This was done so as to prevent severe disease with early administration of the injection. Evidence has shown that it reduces mortality and hospitalisation by 70 per cent,” said Dr Adarsh CK, Chief Consultant, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

“As this was the first time that we were experimenting with a transplant patient, we admitted him for four days, even though it is an outpatient procedure otherwise. We generally watch the patient for an hour for any severe allergic reaction. It is usually safe and this patient had no side-effects and was discharged with complete recovery,” Dr Adarsh added.

This injection has no role if the patient’s condition is already severe and if the patient has crossed 7 to 10 days of the infection. In this case, he was only five days into the disease. The doctor said it was advisable for all transplant patients such as liver or kidney, those on chemotherapy, elderly, obese, people having multiple comorbidities, to take this injection. 

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