Covid-19 roundup: Eli Lil­ly de­clares suc­cess on JAK block­er in NIH tri­al; UK gives small biotech a big vac­cine deal

The NIH-led study that gave the world the first pos­i­tive, ran­dom­ized remde­sivir re­sult has come back with a sec­ond one, show­ing that, when com­bined with remde­sivir, an Eli Lil­ly mol­e­cule can slight­ly im­prove on time to re­cov­ery over remde­sivir alone.

The ACTT-2 tri­al, a fol­low-up that be­gan af­ter the remde­sivir sec­tion was com­plet­ed, en­rolled over 1,000 hos­pi­tal­ized Covid-19 pa­tients and found that those giv­en the an­tivi­ral remde­sivir plus the Eli Lil­ly JAK in­hibitor baric­i­tinib re­cov­ered a me­di­an of “ap­prox­i­mate­ly one day” soon­er than those giv­en remde­sivir alone. Sim­i­lar to the IL-6 in­hibitors from Re­gen­eron and Roche — which failed in Phase III tri­als — baric­i­tinib was de­signed to tamp down the over­ac­tive im­mune re­sponse seen in the lat­er stages of Covid-19.

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