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Mumbai: Roche India on Monday announced the rollout of its first batch of the antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) against Coronavirus in India. The cocktail drug will be marketed by Cipla pan-India.

The second batch of the cocktail jabs will be made available by mid-June. Together, they can potentially benefit 200,000 patients as each of the 100,000 packs that will be available in India offers treatment for two patients, the company said in a statement.

The price for each patient dose [a combined dose of 1200 mg (600 mg of Casirivimab and 600 mg of Imdevimab)] will be Rs 59,750. The maximum retail price for the multi-dose pack (each pack can treat two patients) is Rs 119,500, the statement added.

The Casirivimab-Imdevimab injection is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies and was designed specifically to block infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The monoclonal antibodies are produced by recombinant DNA technology.

The antibody cocktail jab can be administered for the treatment of mild to moderate coronavirus disease in adults and children aged 12 years or older and weighing at least 40 kg, those who are at high risk of developing severe Covid-19 disease, and do not require oxygen, the company said.

The cocktail drug has been shown to help high-risk patients before their condition worsens -- reducing the risk of hospitalisation and fatality by 70 per cent and shortening the duration of symptoms by four days.

"Roche is deeply committed to support the ongoing efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, mitigate the deadly second wave and save lives. We are optimistic that the availability of antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) in India can help in minimising hospitalisation, ease the burden on healthcare systems and play a key role in treatment of high risk patients before their condition worsens," said V Simpson Emmanuel, Managing Director and CEO, Roche Pharma India, in the statement.

"We are guided by our strong sense of responsibility to address unmet patient needs and look forward to leveraging our solid marketing and distribution strengths in India to provide broader, equitable access to this innovative treatment option in the country,a added Umang Vohra, MD and Global CEO Cipla.

Earlier this month, the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) had provided an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) in India. It has also received a EUA in the US and several EU countries.

Further, the company said the cocktail drug can be procured only by a medical prescription and may only be administered in settings in which health care providers have immediate access to medications to treat infusion reaction, such as anaphylaxis.

The intravenous administration takes about 20 to 30 minutes. For the subcutaneous route, four syringes of 2.5 ml (2 each of Casirivimab & Imdevimab) need to be administered concurrently at four different sites on the abdomen or thigh.

Patients should be monitored during the infusion and observed for least one hour after the completion of the infusion and 15--30 minutes after the subcutaneous injection

Each pack of antibody cocktail (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) contains one vial of Casirivimab and one vial of Imdevimab totaling 2400 mg of the antibody cocktail (one vial of Casirivimab (1200 mg) and one vial of Imdevimab (1200 mg)).

Each pack can treat two patients as the dosage per patient is a combined dose of 1200 mg (600 mg of Casirivimab and 600 mg of Imdevimab) administered by intravenous infusion or subcutaneous route. The vials need to be stored at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius. If opened for the first patients' dose, a vial can be used for the second patients' dose within 48 hours if stored at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius, the company said.

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