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02-06-2020 | COVID-19 | News

News in brief

Anakinra shows promise for severe COVID-19

Author: Claire Barnard


medwireNews: Treatment with the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist anakinra may reduce the risk for poor outcomes among people with severe COVID-19, suggest findings from the Ana-COVID study.

The investigation included a prospective cohort of 52 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were treated off-label with anakinra (100 mg twice daily for 72 hours, then 100 mg/day for 1 week) in addition to standard care at a French hospital, and a retrospective cohort of 44 COVID-19 patients from the same institution who were not given the agent.

As reported in The Lancet Rheumatology, patients treated with anakinra had a significant 78% lower risk for death or admission to the intensive care unit for invasive mechanical ventilation than those in the control group, with rates of 25% versus 73%.

The Ana-COVID researchers acknowledge that confounding factors such as a higher prevalence of obesity in the control group may have led to worse COVID-19 outcomes, but stress that the results remained significant in a multivariate analysis controlling for factors such as BMI, symptom duration, and platelet counts.

“Our data suggest that an in-depth evaluation of anakinra in patients with an exacerbating form of COVID-19, mainly resulting from an otherwise uncontrolled cytokine storm, is warranted,” conclude Gilles Hayem (Hôpital Paris Saint-Joseph, France) and team.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2020 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature Group

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Lancet Rheumatol 2020; doi:10.1016/S2665-9913(20)30164-8