News: Monoclonal antibody treatment has emerged as a relatively effective and safer alternative in treating COVID-19 patients.
- The body’s immune system generates antibodies as a defense mechanism against unfamiliar molecules from bacteria and viruses, termed antigens. Antibodies bind to antigens and kill the invading pathogen.
- Monoclonal antibodies are identical copies of an antibody that targets one specific antigen.
- Scientists can make monoclonal antibodies by exposing white blood cells to a particular antigen.
- Each monoclonal antibody is specific to its matching antigen. Scientists select a single white blood cell or clone and use this as the basis to produce many identical cells, making many identical copies of the monoclonal antibody. Monoclonal antibodies are produced in a laboratory setting and then infused into the blood. These monoclonal antibodies fight disease by enlisting natural immune system functions.
- The Monoclonal antibodies help in reducing the symptoms and disease progression.
- Monoclonal antibodies have previously been used to treat viral infections such as Ebola and HIV.
- Two of the Monoclonal antibodies being used in India include the REGCov2 (Casirivimab and Imdevimab). In these drugs, antibodies for COVID target specific proteins and destroy them before they initiate inflammation.