Monoclonal antibodies: Aifa gives the green light

, considered by the scientific community as a real lifesaver capable of giving an effective response against the Covid-19 pandemic. The patients who could have priority treatment are elderly, with previous pathologies, in the early stages of the infection. This was communicated by the Technical Scientific Commission of the AIFA, which expressed a favorable opinion regarding the use of two monoclonal antibodies. albeit with some precise limitations in line with those of Canada and the FDA in the United States. According to the guidelines, monoclonal antibodies can be administered, at an early stage, to a limited category of patients at high risk of developing Covid-19 disease. The approved drugs are those manufactured by Regeneron and Eli Lilly. The protocol provides that the trial is represented by monoclonal antibodies in an advanced phase of clinical development and must include at least two products: bamlanivimab (Eli Lilly) and casirivimab / imdevimab (Regeneron). With the application of monoclonals in therapies, hospitalizations are reduced and clinical results are improved, making it possible to carry out the vaccination campaign with greater serenity in terms of timing and flexibility.

donated by those recovered from Covid-19. They can be replicated in considerable quantities thanks to purification and expansion techniques.

Monoclonal antibodies act with the same mechanism of action as polyclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies, in fact, possess a highly specific affinity for a certain type of antigen and bind to it, thus allowing to obtain a marked immune response in comparisons of that toxin, protein, chemical mediator, malignant cell or pathogen that is the target of therapy. They are essentially divided into two macro categories:
  • Naked monoclonal antibodies (i.e. not conjugated to other molecules);
  • Monoclonal antibodies conjugated to drugs or radioactive isotopes.
For further information: Monoclonal Antibodies: What They Are and Uses and psoriatic, and chronic intestinal dysfunctions, such as ulcerative colitis and Chron's disease. Monoclonal antibodies, therefore, can be used to detect bacterial or viral agents, particular types of proteins or cells and tumor markers.

Their field of application, in Covid-19 patients, has given highly satisfactory results, especially in patients in whom the infection has been ongoing for a few days, and who are not hospitalized. The drug, in fact, should be administered in the early phase of " infection, after about 72 hours, in a phase in which the viral load is at the highest levels, and must be fought and neutralized. The goal is to prevent a virulent course of the disease, anticipating the most severe symptoms. Treatment with these antivirals could be indicated for patients more at risk of negative progression of the infection, therefore patients in advanced age, evaluating the cases in function the conditions of the immune system or other diseases present.

, which takes place in a single venous infusion, must in any case be performed by specialized medical personnel. Some of these drugs have been shown to reduce hospital risk by up to 70% if the treatment is performed in the initial phase of the disease.

The cost of the drug is very high: an infusion of monoclonal antibodies costs from 1,000 to 2,000 euros. An expense that would seem justified if we consider that these drugs can be an effective response against viral load and make those who receive them immune and no longer The experiment has also shown that the serious side effects are comparable to those of placebo, precisely because of the high safety profile.

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