A drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis appears to help patients who are admitted to intensive care with the most severe coronavirus infections, researchers say.
Tocilizumab, a medicine that dampens down inflammation, improved outcomes for critically ill patients, according to early results from an international trial investigating whether the drug and others like it boost survival rates and reduce the amount of time patients spend in intensive care.
The findings have not been peer-reviewed or published in a journal, but if confirmed by more trial data, the drug will be on track to become only the second effective therapy for the sickest Covid patients, following positive results for the steroid dexamethasone earlier this year.
“We think these are very exciting results, we are encouraged by them,” said Prof Anthony Gordon, of Imperial College London, the UK’s chief investigator on the REMAP-CAP trial. “It could become the standard of care once we have all the data reviewed by guidelines groups, and also drug regulators.”
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Source: The Guardian, 20 November 2020