Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Roche’s Actemra fails in late-stage severe COVID-19 study

Anti-inflammatory drug unable to improve clinical status of hospitalised patients

Roche

Roche’s hopes of repurposing its arthritis med Actmera as a treatment for COVID-19 have fallen flat after the drug failed to meet the primary endpoint in a key phase three trial.

Actemra (tocilizumab) did not meet its primary endpoint of improved clinical status in hospitalised adult patients with severe COVID-19 associated pneumonia in the phase 3 COVACTA study.

Although researchers observed a positive trend in the time it took to discharge patients from hospital following Actmera treatment, the drug failed to meet key secondary endpoints, which included a difference in patient mortality at week four.

The theory behind testing Actemra in this patient setting is based on the idea that its anti-inflammatory properties could counteract the overactive inflammatory responses observed in the lungs of critically ill and severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Unfortunately, this theory is proving less and less convincing, given that Actemra is not the first anti-inflammatory treatment to fail in a pivotal COVID-19 study. Sanofi/Regeneron’s IL-6 inhibitor Kevzara (sarilumab) was also unable to prevent death or help patients come off ventilation among mechanically ventilated patients.

Another anti-inflammatory drug, ABX464, is currently being studied by Abivax as an early treatment for elderly or high-risk patients with confirmed COVID-19. Although this class of drug has failed in severe patient settings so far, there is still some hope that anti-inflammatories could show benefit as an early treatment in patients with moderate disease.

“People around the world are waiting for further effective treatment options for COVID-19 and we are disappointed that COVACTA did not demonstrate a benefit for patients in either clinical status or mortality at week four. We will continue to generate evidence to provide a more complete understanding of Actemra in COVID-19 associated pneumonia,” said Levi Garraway, chief medical officer and head of global product development at Roche.

While Actemra has missed the mark as a monotherapy in the severe COVID-19 setting, Roche is still hoping it can show a benefit alongside other treatments, including Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir. The Swiss pharma company is also evaluating Kevzara in moderate-to-severe COVID-19 patients, with the hopes that the drug could show a benefit in a patient population that is less ill.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

29th July 2020

From: Research

Share

Tags

PMEA Awards 2020

COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs

PMHub

Add my company
dna Communications

Healthcare communications with unique thinking, insight and attitude...

Latest intelligence

#DemandDiversity: For International Women's Day, we ask... why do women often suffer from more side effects than men?
Women are largely prescribed exactly the same treatment regimens as men, with no account for the underlying differences in physiology and drug metabolism between the sexes....
Good design saves lives
Good design and creative thinking are essential if we are to improve on existing problems in new ways, which is why design and creativity within healthcare is vital. Health is...
Why you must understand the pricing of patient recruitment companies
Recruiting a diverse range of patients and engaging with them for your clinical trial isn’t an easy task, which means you might turn to patient recruitment companies, like us, who...

Infographics