Two Covid-positive senior citizens with heart complications, who were administered the monoclonal antibody therapy at a leading private facility here a week ago, have ”tested negative” for the coronavirus infection, a senior doctor of the hospital said on Tuesday.
The therapy is said to reduce the chances of hospitalisation by 70 per cent in patients with mild to moderate symptoms, according to medical experts.
Sunirmal Ghatak (70) and Suresh Kumar Trehan (65) were administered a cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab at the BLK hospital as part of this single-dose infusion-based treatment on June 1.
Ghatak, with a known heart problem, had undergone angioplasty with stenting in the past, the hospital had earlier said in a statement.
Trehan had reported to the hospital over a week ago with severe breathlessness and was unable to lie down due to respiratory distress. He had no previous history of any ailment. His echocardiography showed a strained heart with an ejection fraction of only 25 per cent, the hospital had said.
The good thing was that both had an oxygen saturation level of above 95 per cent and had come to the hospital within three days of developing Covid symptoms, the statement said.
On Tuesday, Dr Sandeep Nayar, senior director, BLK-Max Centre for Chest and Respiratory Diseases, claimed that the two men had ”tested negative for Covid”.
”We are happy to report that we conducted the RT-PCR test on the two Covid-positive patients eight days after they developed symptoms and it turned out to be a definite negative. They were administered the antibodies cocktail therapy within three days of obtaining their Covid-positive reports,” he said.
”This is the fastest ever recovery reported in patients, particularly senior citizens suffering from comorbidities,” he claimed.
Monoclonal antibodies are identical copies of an antibody that targets one specific antigen. This treatment has previously been used to treat infections such as Ebola and HIV. According to studies, this ”antibody cocktail treatment” for COVID-19 can prevent case escalation from mild to moderate illness to severe, which then requires hospitalisation in 70 per cent of the cases, according to doctors.
”In the light of this development, the monoclonal antibody cocktail can safely be termed as a ‘game-changer’ in the fight against Covid,” Nayar said.
The therapy is most suited for ”high-risk COVID-19 patients” who are within the first 10 days of the symptom onset and meet any of the listed criteria such as their age being 65 years or above.