Sanofi and Regeneron Give Up on Kevzara for COVID-19 After Phase 3 Flop
Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said they have no plans to conduct further trials of their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara for COVID-19 after it failed in a late-stage study.
The phase 3 trial tested 200-mg or 400-mg doses of Kevzara (sarilumab) vs. a placebo in 420 severely or critically ill COVID-19 patients. The benefits from the treatment, including shorter hospital stays and faster improvements in clinical outcomes, were not statistically significant, and some patients experienced serious adverse events, including pneumonia.
In July, the companies stopped a separate phase 3 U.S. trial of the immunosuppressive drug as a treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients following disappointing results (DID, July 6).
Roche’s Actemra (tocilizumab), another rheumatoid arthritis treatment, was also found to have no benefit for hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia in a phase 3 trial. However, the drug is still in multiple mid- and late-stage trials for COVID-19, including as a combination treatment with Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir (DID, July 30).
Eli Lilly’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant (baricitinib) is also in phase 3 testing for hospitalized COVID-19 patients and is also under evaluation with remdesivir. Results of those trials have not yet been released (DID, June 16). — Jordan Williams