New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Zydus Cadila on Thursday sought the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approval to start the human clinical trials for its monoclonal antibodies cocktail -- ZRC-3308 -- to treat mild COVID-19 patients.

In a statement, Zydus Cadila said that ZRC-3308 is safe and well-tolerated in animal toxicology studies, adding that it can provide a "safe treatment" to mild COVID-19 patients.

"At this juncture, there is a critical need to explore safer and more efficacious treatments to combat COVID. It is important to look at different stages of the disease progression and look at options that can reduce patient's suffering and discomfort," Cadila Healthcare Ltd Managing Director Dr Sharvil Patel said.

Earlier this week, Roche India had also launched its antibody cocktail in India to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The Roche antibody cocktail is priced at Rs 59,750 per dose in India.

What is an antibody cocktail drug and how does it work?

An antibody cocktail comprises Imdevimab and Casirivimab -- human immunoglobulin G-1 (IgG1) monoclonal antibodies that block the entry and attachment of the SARS-CoV-2 into the human body. The drug is given to moderate and mild COVID-19 patients can prevent hospitalisation by 70 per cent.

"If these antibodies are injected into a patient infected with the Covid-19 virus at an early stage when the virus is trying to multiply then it blocks the virus from entering the cells of the patient from where it derives nutrition to multiply," Medanta Hospital MD and Chairperson Dr Naresh Trehan told news agency ANI.

"So by blocking the virus they are stopping the multiplication of the virus and finally the virus spikes. It is one of the blocking mechanisms that is working against the Covid-19 virus," he added.

Can the drug be administered to everyone?

As per Roche India, its antibody cocktail drug works only on patients with mild and moderate COVID-19 symptoms. The company has said that the drug can be given to anyone above the age of 12 years with a weight of 40 kg.

The company has said that the medicine could be administered through intravenous infusion or subcutaneous route. However, the intravenous infusion takes 20 to 30 minutes as four injections of 2.5 ml are used for administrations.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma