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Explained: Is Itolizumab effective in reducing Covid-19 related deaths?

Jul 14, 2020 15:17 IST

Biotech major Biocon has announced that it is launching a new biological drug Itolizumab to treat moderate to severe cases of Covid-19. The company received approval from the Drug Controllers General of India to market the injection for emergency use in India for treatment of cytokine release syndrome in moderate/severe cases of ARDS caused due to coronavirus. Dr Hemant Thacker, Consultant & Senior Physician, Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, says Itolizumab works better than Tocilizumab; it costs much less and we require only one dose of this injection versus two of Tocilizumab. When the virus burrows itself into the human body, it sets off chain reaction which triggers an inflammation, which led to inflammatory cytokine reaction. These cytokines build up over a few days till they suddenly hit human body and puncture the kidney, heart, lungs and other organs, which is known as cytokine storm crisis. At that stage, we can either pre-empt the crisis or block inflammatory markers with the help of drugs like Itolizumab. Watch BOOM's Govindraj Ethiraj interview Dr Hemant Thacker on how Itolizumab is cheaper and works very efficiently in reducing mortality rates which is an essential number to watch out for to measure our response to Covid-19.