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India approves antibody cocktail to treat COVID-19

India approves antibody cocktail to treat COVID-19
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India on Wednesday granted emergency use authorization for an antibody cocktail used to treat COVID-19 as the country battles a devastating surge in coronavirus cases.

The approval for the drug, developed by Roche and Regeneron, was based on data filed by the U.S. and the “scientific opinion” of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, a European Union medical agency, according to a press release from Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla.

The drug is meant for high-risk patients who fall ill with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. It has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 70 percent, compared to a placebo, according to Cipla.

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The treatment is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, Casirivimab and Imdevimab, that are “specifically directed against the spike protein” in COVID-19 and “designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells,” according to Cipla.

The company has not yet released a price or a launch date for the drug, according to Reuters.

The cocktail, the same that then-President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE received when he was treated for COVID-19 last year, received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in November.

On Tuesday, India became the second country to report 20 million COVID-19 cases. The U.S. is the only country that has seen more infections.

On Sunday, India's daily COVID-19 deaths topped 3,000 for the fourth consecutive day.

India opened COVID-19 vaccinations to all adults on Saturday, but the country has struggled to make inoculations accessible and affordable to its nearly 1.4 billion population.