Covid-19 roundup: Sanofi & Re­gen­eron de­liv­er dis­ap­point­ing news on IL-6; Alex Azar ru­mors are swirling at HHS

A pop­u­lar the­o­ry for how to treat some of the worst symp­toms of Covid-19 stum­bled to­day.

Sanofi and Re­gen­eron an­nounced that a Phase II/III tri­al on their im­mune-block­ing drug Kevzara will on­ly be con­tin­ued for the worst-off pa­tients and at the high­est dose, af­ter an in­de­pen­dent analy­sis of the Phase II re­sults showed the drug was like­ly hav­ing lit­tle ef­fect in many pa­tients.

The Kevzara tri­al was premised on the idea that some life-threat­en­ing symp­toms of Covid-19 were caused not by the virus but by an over­ac­tive im­mune re­sponse called a cy­tokine storm. Kevzara blocks the cy­tokine IL-6, po­ten­tial­ly calm­ing those storms, some­thing high­light­ed in a small study con­duct­ed in Chi­na dur­ing the height of the first out­break. The same the­o­ry spurred tri­als for Actem­ra, the Roche IL-6 drug that has long been used to treat the cy­tokine storms some­times caused by CAR-T ther­a­py.

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities

San Diego, CA, USA