Roche’s antibody cocktail for Covid rolls out in India

Doctors treating patients with Covid-19 will now also have the cocktail of antibodies – Casirivimab and Imdevimab – for treatment. The first batch of the injectable from Swiss drug maker Roche has been imported from the United States to India, and the second batch is expected in mid-June. Cipla will market the product in India.

Global attention

The antibody cocktail received significant global attention last year after former US President Trump received the drug when he contracted Covid.

A total of one lakh pack is planned for India, but each pack can treat two patients, the company said. The price for a patient is ₹ 59,750 including tax, the company said, with the two-dose pack costing ₹ 119,500.

As drugmakers face intense pressure on supplies, given global demand for a limited supply of products, Roche Pharma (India) Managing Director and CEO V Simpson Emmanuel said that the idea was to have the product processed as quickly as possible. , as it would be difficult to meet all of the demand, given the scale of the pandemic and the size of the population.

Price will always be a factor, but the price of the product was moderate for India, he said. Activity area, adding that it was significantly lower than its price in the United States or the European Union. Discussions are underway to reduce the tax component on the price, the benefit of which could be passed on to the consumer, he said. Bruno Jolain, Medical Director of Roche Pharma (India), explained that a single dose should be given to a high-risk patient with mild to moderate Covid-19, to prevent it from getting worse and being hospitalized . It should be administered on an outpatient basis, he stressed, where the patient can be given the drug and go home after being observed by the doctor, as is the case with a vaccine.

High risk patients

It has been shown to help high-risk patients before their condition worsens, reducing the risk of hospitalization and death by 70% and shortening the duration of symptoms by four days, the company said. . Risk factors include age (above 65), chronic liver or kidney disease, diabetes and obesity, he said, highlighting a few.

Stressing that there were no major safety issues, he said the product has emergency use authorization in India and is considered to have a neutralizing effect against all known variants. in the laboratory configuration. Its effectiveness in the real world will also be investigated, he said. Increased demand

Another Covid-19 product from Roche, Tocilizumab, is also marketed in the country by Cipla. The product is however facing a serious shortage of supply. The CEO explained that there was unprecedented demand for the product globally and locally, and the company has made alliances internationally to increase its supplies. This may not be, however, a solution for immediate needs, he acknowledged, adding that India was a priority for the company and plans to meet local market demands were being developed. .

Action mechanism

Casirivimab and imdevimab are human immunoglobulin monoclonal antibodies produced by recombinant DNA technology in the laboratory. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that mimic the ability of the immune system to fight harmful pathogens such as viruses. This product is specifically directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, designed to block virus attachment and entry into human cells.


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