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02-06-2020 | Rheumatology | News | Article

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,” they conclude.

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

2 June 2020: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

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

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