Roche’s Actemra Cuts Ventilator Need in COVID-19 Patients

September 21, 2020

In a late-stage trial, Roche’s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Actemra (tocilizumab) reduced the risk of COVID-19 patients being placed on mechanical ventilation or death by 44 percent, the company said.   

The trial enrolled 389 hospitalized patients with COVID-19-associated pneumonia and primarily focused on minority and underserved populations.  Just over 12 percent of patients treated with Actemra progressed to mechanical ventilation or death compared to 19 percent of those given a placebo.

A separate phase 3 trial previously found that the rheumatoid arthritis drug failed to provide a benefit for hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia.

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