From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Itolizumab
Mains level : NA
The Drug Controller General of India recently approved Itolizumab as a novel biologic therapy for restricted emergency use.
Various drugs in news these days are:
1) Remdesivir: Ebola
2) Lopinavir: HIV
3) Hydroxychloroquine: Malaria
What is Itolizumab?
- Itolizumab is an existing drug used for psoriasis, a chronic skin disease involving unregulated growth of some skin cells that develop into red patches mostly on knees and elbows, but also on some other parts of the body.
- The drug, developed by Bengaluru-based Biocon, was approved in 2013.
- It is a monoclonal antibody which is used to treat acute psoriasis.
Why it is being used for COVD-19?
- The coronavirus has been observed to induce an overreaction of the immune system, generating a large number of cytokines that can cause severe damage to the lungs and other organs.
- Itolizumab is safe and efficient in preventing cardio-renal complications in Covid-19 patients who also have acute respiratory distress.
What are monoclonal antibodies?
- Monoclonal antibodies are proteins cloned in the lab to mimic antibodies produced by the immune system to counter infection.
- They have their genesis in serum, the colourless constituent of blood that contains antibodies.
- These proteins bind to an antigen, the fragment of an infectious virus in the case of SARS-CoV-2, and either destroy it or block its action.