Roche’s Actemra Helps Critically Ill Covid Patients in Test

Roche Holding AG’s rheumatoid arthritis medicine Actemra helps severely ill patients survive Covid-19, according to the early results of an international clinical trial.

Patients in intensive care were more likely to improve after taking the medicine, spending less time on organ-support machines, Imperial College London said in a statement Thursday.

The evidence comes from an interim analysis of a broad study that’s testing multiple treatments against Covid-19 as the reported number of deaths globally nears 1.4 million.

Treatment with Actemra has yielded conflicting results, but an observational study released last month also pointed to a survival benefit.

Imperial College’s interim analysis included data from the first 303 patients randomly assigned to receive immune-modulation treatments. Besides Actemra, they included Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi’s Kevzara, Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB’s Kineret and the immune substance interferon. The findings were not peer-reviewed.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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