Eli Lilly launches PhIII JAK study, aiming for the first drug to lower mortality in Covid-19
Soon after the NIH announced in late April that Eli Lilly’s JAK inhibitor baricitinib would be the second drug tested in the trial that had proven remdesivir effective, doctors around the world began telling Lilly that that wouldn’t be enough.
Since the early days of the pandemic, the Indianapolis pharma had heard from doctors in Italy, Spain and elsewhere who, facing hospitals full of patients with a disease with no known treatment, used the JAK inhibitor — known commercially as the rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant — off-label. The doctors wanted to know conclusively if it worked. But the NIH trial could only tell them if, when combined with remdesivir, it worked better than remdesivir alone. And then only in the more severe patients.
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