LONDON – The U.K. is to make treatment with interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors standard of care for critically ill COVID-19 patients after a randomized trial found the arthritis drugs significantly improve survival.
DUBLIN – Sanofi SA and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. are terminating all further development in COVID-19 of their interleukin-6 receptor inhibitor, Kevzara, following the antibody’s failure to meet the primary endpoint, as well as a key survival endpoint.
Missing the primary endpoint along with key secondary endpoints in a phase III trial of Kevzara (sarilumab), an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antibody, for treating COVID-19 patients who need mechanical ventilation caused Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi SA to halt the study.
Preliminary data from the first part of a phase II/III trial testing the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antibody Kevzara (sarilumab, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi SA) in patients with severe or critical respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 found that, relative to a placebo, the medicine "had no notable benefit on clinical outcomes" among that combined group.
Given all the public-private partnerships responding to the need for timely COVID-19 therapies, diagnostics and vaccines, the demands to forgo patents or exclusive licenses for coronavirus products and the clamor that industry shouldn’t “profit” from U.S. taxpayer-supported research are growing louder.