Lilly’s baricitinib/remdesivir combo lowers recovery time in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, according to new data

pharmafile | September 15, 2020 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development COVID-19, Eli Lilly, pharma, remdesivir 

Eli Lilly has unveiled promising new data from a study investigating the efficacy of baricitinib when combined with with Gilead’s antiviral therapy remdesivir in the treatment of patients hospitalised with COVID-19.

The study, launching on 8 May and sponsored by  the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), included over 1,000 participants in total receiving 4mg baricitinib in combination in combination with remdesivir.

It was found that the combo reduced time taken to achieve recovery in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 compared to remdesivir alone, with an average improvement of one day observed in terms of median recovery time until patients were well enough to be discharged, no longer requiring supplemental oxygen or in hospital 29 days following initial treatment.

The company also noted that the study met one of its secondary endpoint, with favourable findings in patient outcomes after 15 days according to an eight-point scale measuring from fully recovered to death.

Lilly now hopes to use these data to secure emergency use authorisation for the combo with the FDA and “similar measures” with other international regulators.

The findings could also have implications for a Phase 3 study Lilly launched in June across the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia comparing baricitinib with background therapy in the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Lilly said it would be reviewing the data in this light along with the NIAID.

Patrik Jonsson, Lilly’s Senior Vice President and President of Lilly Bio-Medicines said the company was “pleased” with the results, while Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Dr Daniel Skovronsky commented: “These data allow us to better understand baricitinib’s role in potentially improving outcomes for hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and we look forward to continuing this research alongside our other initiatives to combat COVID-19.”

The full results from the study are expected to be published by the NIAID in a peer-reviewed journal.

Matt Fellows

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