Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: Monoclonal Antibodies)

Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal Antibodies

Why in News?

  • India is facing shortages of the two monoclonal antibody therapies —Itolizumab and Tocilizumab.

What are Monoclonal Antibodies?

  • Monoclonal antibodies are artificially created antibodies that aim to aid the body’s natural immune system.
  • They target a specific antigen — a protein from the pathogen that induces immune response.
  • These can be created in the lab by exposing white blood cells to a particular antigen.
  • In the case of Covid-19, scientists usually work with the spike protein of the SARSCoV-2 virus, which facilitates the entry of the virus into the host cell.
  • In a healthy body, the immune system is able to create antibodies — tiny Y-shaped proteins in our blood that recognise microbial enemies and bind to them, signalling the immune system to then launch an attack on the pathogen.

COVID-19 and Monoclonal Antibodies

  • Since the emergence of Covid-19, multiple treatment strategies and protocols are being used to curb the prevalence of the virus, including neutralizing monoclonal antibodies cocktail drug, casrivimab and imdevimab.
  • Casirivimab and imdevimab are monoclonal antibodies mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses.


  • The idea of delivering antibodies to treat a disease dates as far back as the 1900s, when Nobel-prize winning German immunologist Paul Ehrlich proposed the idea of a ‘Zauberkugel‘ (magic bullet), a compound which selectively targets a pathogen.
  • From then, it took eight decades of research to finally arrive at Muromonab-CD3, the world’s first monoclonal antibody to be approved for clinical use in humans.
  • Muromonab-CD3 is an immunosuppressant drug given to reduce acute rejection in patients with organ transplants.