New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Indian Council of Medical Research's Dr Gangakhedkar on Sunday said that Roche’s monoclonal antibody cocktail, used for the treatment of COVID-19, is unlikely to cause further mutation of the coronavirus.

Speaking to news agency ANI, the former Head Scientist of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the ICMR said that people are more likely to develop moderate to severe illness due to dysregulated immune response rather than the coronavirus.

“I don’t think that it will lead to mutation theory-wise because we know when a person develops moderate to severe illness we also know that its more likely due to dysregulated immunity response rather than the virus itself. So if there is no virus then it will not mutate under pressure,” Dr Gangakhedkar said.

He added that rational use of the cocktail based on evidence is vital to be promoted. If one has to use it, they should do it as early as possible within three days of the detection of the virus or a maximum of 10 days, he said.

However, Dr Gangakhedkar also said there is no data available on how monoclonal antibodies protect people against the new variants of COVID-19.

Roche’s antibody cocktail is also available in India now. The drug received emergency use approval earlier this month from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for patients diagnosed with mild COVID-19 infection. Zydus Cadila has sought approval for human trials of Roche’s antibody cocktail. The drug will be marketed in India by Cipla.

The antibody cocktail is not recommended for patients who are hospitalised due to severe COVID-19 infection, require critical oxygen care support, or have underlying non-COVID-related comorbidities. It is only used to treat mild to moderate cases to reduce their chances of hospitalization.

This FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved antibody cocktail was also used to treat former US President Donald Trump last year.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha