Interleukin-6 Receptor Antagonists in Critically Ill Patients with Covid-19 – Preliminary report


  • #COVID research updates: Two anti-inflammatory drugs prevent COVID deaths

    Some people gravely ill with COVID-19 have tissue damage inflicted by their own immune response, and also show increased activity of immune-system molecules and cells regulated by a protein called IL-6. To study the effect of quashing IL-6 activity, Anthony Gordon of Imperial College London and his colleagues tested the drugs #tocilizumab and sarilumab, which block the protein that immune cells use to detect IL-6 (A. C. Gordon et al. #Preprint at medRxiv; 2021).

    The team gave the drugs to 803 adults with COVID-19 who were in intensive care and receiving organ support, such as ventilation or high-flow oxygen. Of these participants, 353 received tocilizumab, 48 received sarilumab and 402 received neither. The drug treatment reduced the death rate — from nearly 36% in the control group to 28% among those who received tocilizumab and 22% for sarilumab.

    The results have not yet been peer reviewed.