Skip to NavigationSkip to content

EUSA Pharma's COVID-19 drug improves or stabilises respiratory condition in 76% of patients

Published on 02/04/20 at 10:34am

EUSA Pharma has unveiled promising preliminary findings from an interim analysis of siltuximab in the treatment of serious respiratory complications arising from COVID-19, the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients affected by the novel coronavirus.

Siltuximab is an interleukin (IL)-6 targeted monoclonal antibody which has already secured approval from a number of worldwide regulators including the FDA and EMA for the treatment of multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) in patients who are negative for HIV and herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8). 

After a follow-up of seven days, one third of the first 21 patients treated with the therapy saw a clinical improvement with a reduced need of oxygen support, while 43% of patients saw their condition stabilise, ultimately meaning the conditions of 76% of patients had either improved or stabilised by the time of analysis.

However, three patients saw their condition worsen, while one patient died. A further patient experienced a cerebrovascular event. At baseline, 90% of patients displayed a fever, 62% with a dry cough, and 71% with shortness of breath.  

“Whilst we are yet to identify and analyse the control group of patients, these initial data in siltuximab-treated patients provide vital information to guide decisions regarding appropriate use of siltuximab in both the real-world and new COVID-19 studies as we continue to investigate the role IL-6 blockade can play,” explained Professor Alessandro Rambaldi, Study Sponsor-Investigator and Director of the Hematology Unit and Department of Oncology and Hematology at Italy’s Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital.

“Importantly, these preliminary uncontrolled data confirm high levels of IL-6 at baseline, with baseline CRP also high but declining with siltuximab treatment, suggesting a role for monoclonal antibodies as a possible therapeutic strategy for this fatal infectious disease,” he continued. “Further data will be made available on remaining patients, the case-control analysis and 30 day follow-up of mortality as they become available.”

Matt Fellows

Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches