Administering monoclonal antibodies drugs can lower 70% risk of Covid-related death within three to five days and reduce the severity of illness significantly, local doctors have said.
They came up with the conclusion based on their real-life clinical experience with injecting hospitalised Covid patients with Casirivimab and Imdevimab, a combination drug for monoclonal antibodies.
"We observed treating high-risk and symptomatic Covid patients with Casirivimab and Imdevimab reduces death-risk by 70%," said Dr Raihan Rabbani, a consultant of ICU and internal medicine at the Square Hospital, while addressing a seminar at a capital hotel on Wednesday.
The side-effects of the drugs were seen low, he added. "However, the patients taking medical oxygen cannot be treated with the drugs."
Dr Md Robed Amin, line director (NCDC) at the Directorate General of Health Services, said the drugs were effective against the Delta Variant. "The scientists, however, are yet to confirm whether it is effective against the new Omicron," he added, citing an international study.
"We must sequence the genome of the coronavirus in a patient's body before suggesting monoclonal antibody drugs," Robed said and hoped that with proper medication, it was possible to mitigate the severity of the deadly virus.
Professor Dr Abdul Wadud Chowdhury, a cardiologist at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, and Dr Shyamal Prasad, consultant (anaesthesia) at the Evercare Hospital also joined the programme organised by Radiant Pharmaceuticals, who imports the injection of Casirivimab and Imdevimab to Bangladesh.
The doctors also shared their experiences about the benefits of the injection.
The company said it maintained the required cold chain process in importing and distributing the drug.
The monoclonal antibody injection made by the globally renowned Swiss pharmaceuticals company F Hoffmann-La Roche has recently been approved for use in Bangladesh.
The drug has been approved by the UK and Japan for Covid-19 treatment. It also recently received approval for emergency distribution by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States.