—For patients with COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation, tocilizumab is associated with improved survival, according to a study published online July 11 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Emily C. Somers, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the effectiveness and safety of interleukin (IL)-6 blockade with tocilizumab in a single-center cohort of patients with COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation. A total of 154 patients were included, of whom 78 received tocilizumab; patients were followed for a median of 47 days.
The researchers found that tocilizumab-treated patients were younger, were less likely to have chronic pulmonary disease, and had lower D-dimer values at intubation. Tocilizumab was associated with a reduction in the risk for death in propensity score inverse probability weight-adjusted models (hazard ratio, 0.55) and improved status on the ordinal outcome scale (odds ratio, 0.58 per one-level increase). Tocilizumab was associated with an increased proportion of patients with superinfections (54 versus 26 percent); the 28-day case fatality rate did not differ for tocilizumab-treated patients with versus without superinfection (22 versus 15 percent).
“These data are encouraging and can help to inform clinical practice while results from randomized controlled trials of IL-6 inhibitors are awaited,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and other industries.