Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila's Monoclonal Antibody Therapy (mAb) is effective against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 including the currently circulating Delta variant, according to a new study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). However, as the study was undertaken before the emergence of Omicron, it is difficult to say whether it will be effective against this or not, an ICMR official told BusinessLine . The study was conducted on Syrian Hamsters and published in the international journal "Viruses".

"Monoclonal antibody therapy is one of the promising treatments followed for mild to moderate Covid-19. ZRC3308 monoclonal antibody is a therapeutic developed by Zydus Cadila Healthcare for Covid-19 treatment. The product was tested at ICMR-NIV, Pune to understand its effectiveness for Covid-19 treatment. Laboratory investigation confirmed the effectiveness of the monoclonal antibody against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 including the currently circulating Delta variant," an ICMR official told BusinessLine .

"The antibody treatment in laboratory animals decreased the Covid-19 severity. The treatment appears to be a promising candidate for prophylactic use as well as for early Covid-19 cases that have not progressed to severe disease," the official added.

What are monoclonal antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that emulate the immune system’s ability to ward-off harmful pathogens such as viruses. According to the ICMR study, "Monoclonal antibodies can serve as an adjunct to the prophylactic strategy for Covid-19 infections in high-risk groups such as aged and immuno-compromised people who have suboptimal responses to vaccination."

Though many vaccines have been launched to combat against the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, the treatment options are still very limited. According to ICMR, Monoclonal Antibodies appear to be promising candidates for SARS-CoV-2, as is evident by the emergency use authorisation (EUA) received by 3 mAb therapies from USFDA, which have also been granted approvals in other countries. The ZRC3308 mAbs showed good binding affinity, similar to other mAb products for treatment for SARS-CoV-2.