Itolizumab gets DCGI nod for emergency use in treating COVID-19 patients

July 12, 2020 0 By FM

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved a monoclonal antibody injection itolizumab for restricted emergency use for the treatment of ‘cytokine’ release syndrome in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome patients due to COVID-19.

BIopharmaceutical company Biocon received the approval for using its  itolizumab that has primarily been approved and used to treat psoriasis, a debilitating skin ailment.

Itolizumab is a humanised IgG1 monoclonal antibody. It selectively targets CD6, a T cell marker involved in co-stimulation, adhesion and maturation of T cells. The drug binds to CD6 to down-regulate T cell activation, causing a reduction in synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The drug’s ability to help alleviate the aggressive immune response of the body’s immune system was considered for administering the drug in severe cases of COVID-19.