Covid-19: an antibody treatment deemed inconclusive, according to a study by the Hospitals of Paris


Sarilumab is a treatment sold under the name Kevzara by the Sanofi laboratory.It is mainly used in patients already hospitalized for their Covid-19 to prevent their disease from worsening further.

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Sarilumab, an antibody treatment against severe forms of Covid-19, does not prevent death in the days following its administration, shows a study relayed on Tuesday, November 23 by the Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP). This study “does not find any short-term benefit of sarilumab in moderate to severe forms of Covid-19”, summarizes in a press release the AP-HP (Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris), which participated in this work published a few days earlier in the Lancet Rheumatology.

Sarilumab, sold under the name Kevzara by the Sanofi laboratory, is part of synthetic antibodies, a category of treatment mainly used in patients already hospitalized for their Covid-19 to prevent their disease from worsening further. It is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the treatment of severe forms of Covid-19, as well as a very related drug, tocilizumab.

But the test relayed by the AP-HP, carried out with about 150 patients already hospitalized, did not observe any differences in terms of death or artificial respiration, two weeks after administration of the treatment. Admittedly, a small difference is observed for deaths in the longer term, three months later, but this criterion was not the main one to be evaluated, which relativizes the interest of this observation.

This essay “suggests that sarilumab has no effect in reducing the need for non-invasive ventilation and mechanical ventilation, or deaths in patients with Covid-19 and moderate or severe pneumonia”, summarizes the conclusion of the study. To recommend the treatment, the WHO had based itself on a large meta-analysis, taking into account multiple studies on sarilumab and tocilizumab, and concluding that this class of treatments was effective. But, in detail, this study was much less conclusive on sarilumab than tocilizumab, despite very similar modes of action.



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