18 jun (Reuters) – The drug from Roche for rheumatoid arthritis Actemra has not helped patients with pneumonia COVID-19 in the early stages, during a study on Italy, the most recent instance in which the anti-inflammatory has failed in the tests on coronavirus.
Archive photo of the logo of Roche, at the offices of the company in Basel, Switzerland.
Jan 30, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Despite the setback, the swiss pharmaceutical said it will go ahead with trials of Actemra in other tests against the COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Actemra did not reduce the respiratory symptoms are severe, the income to intensive care or the dead better than the standard treatments, said the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa), the regulator pharmacist who authorized the study, in a statement Wednesday.
The trial, which recruited 126 patients, about a third of the number that was attempted, it was stopped early after an analysis of the provisional raised doubts about the effectiveness of the anti-inflammatory medicine.
“Although it is not effective in all patients with pneumonia COVID-19, it is possible that a selected subgroup of patients may have a better response,” said Aifa.
Sales of Actemra shot up 30% in the first quarter, said Roche in April, by the hopes of that help in the fight against the coronavirus.
His failure in the Italian study adds to the questions about the role of drugs as Actemra, which are designed to inhibit proteins interleukin-6 (IL-6) associated with inflammations dangerous, in the treatment of COVID-19.
The medication Kevzara, an inhibitor of IL-6 similar to the arthritis of Sanofi and Regeneron, has failed in a test in April between patients with severe and critically ill, which led pharmaceutical companies to continue to test high doses of Kevzara only among the patients considered as a critical part of COVID-19.[nL2N2CF1AG]
The detailed data of the Italian study on Actemra, involving 24 medical centers, will be sent to a scientific journal.
In the meantime, Roche has completed the stage of registration of a proper study of Actemra in patients hospitalized with severe pneumonia by COVID-19. This will provide evidence robust about the profile risk/benefit”, said a spokesman for the firm, adding that the data are expected for the next few months.
Reporting Carl O’donnell in New York, Emilio Parodi in Milan, Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt and John Miller in Zurich; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa