Maha tests a drug for skin conditions on a Covid patient

MUMBAI: Parel, a 35-year-old positive patient admitted to BMC, became the first in Maharashtra to receive a new biological product (drugs that contain components of a living organism) as part of a clinical trial to combat viral infection.

The drug, made by Bangalore-based Bioconch major, Biocon to treat a skin condition called psoriasis, was infused into the patient over an eight-hour period on Saturday, Dr. Dean KEM said.

Itolizumab is one of the medicines that Biocon has reused to combat complications related to Covid-19. A few weeks ago, we requested to conduct a multi-center clinical trial for Itolizumab at KEM Hospital and other civic hospitals treating Covid-19, Deshmukh said. TOI has not been able to verify whether the drug has been administered for Covid-related treatment in any other state.

The drug has been classified as a humanized anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody or a laboratory-produced molecule intended to serve as surrogate antibodies that can restore or modulate the immune system's attack on foreign cells.

The patient is a Worli driver who was admitted to KEM Hospital on April 27 and tested positive the day after. He is on oxygen support since his oxygen levels dropped to 90. He can be classified as a moderately ill Covid patient and we hope the drug will boost his immune system enough to be able to successfully fight the infection, said a KEM Medical of the hospital. Meanwhile, BMC officials said a second Covid patient is being sought that may be eligible for the BMC plasma convalescent therapy clinical trial.