Published: 10th June 2021
Monoclonal antibody therapy is safe, helps prevent serious illness for transplant patients with mild COVID, finds study
The study is important because transplant patients who are infected with COVID-19 have a higher risk of severe illness and death
A day after Delhi-based Sir Gangaram Hospital claimed that monoclonal antibody can be a game changer with its better hold on the deadly COVID pandemic, a study led by Mayo Clinic said that treating transplant patients infected with mild to moderate COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies is safe and helps prevent serious illness.
The study is important because transplant patients who are infected with COVID-19 have a higher risk of severe illness and death.
"Monoclonal antibody therapy is really important for the transplant population because they are less likely to develop their own immunity. Providing them with these antibodies helps them recover from COVID-19," said Raymund Razonable, Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.
The study, published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases, focused on the first 73 solid organ transplant patients who received monoclonal antibody infusions for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 between November 19, 2020, and January 23 at Mayo Clinic.
Eleven patients had an emergency department visit and nine patients were hospitalized. Most significantly, no patients required mechanical ventilation, died or experienced organ rejection.
"While we expected monoclonal antibody therapy would be beneficial for patients, we were pleasantly surprised by the results. Only one patient required care in the ICU for non-COVID-19 indication, and, most importantly, there were no deaths," Razonable said.
Monoclonal antibodies help prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from attaching to human cells, which helps block the spread of infection.
In 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration authorised the emergency use of Monoclonal antibodies bamlanivimab and casirivimab-imdevimab to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients with a high risk of becoming seriously ill.
A previous study led by University of Pittsburgh researchers also found that people aged 65 and older who received bamlanivimab were nearly three times less likely to be hospitalised or die in the following month, compared to their untreated counterparts.
The therapy is also available in India, and hospitals including Medanta in Gurugram, BLK-Max Super Speciality and Sir Gangaram in New Delhi, have successfully implemented the treatment.