Roche rheumatoid arthritis drug fails to help COVID-19 patients in Italian study
Despite the setback, the Swiss drugmaker said that it is pressing ahead with testing Actemra in another trial against COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Actemra did not reduce severe respiratory symptoms, intensive care visits, or death any better than standard treatments, the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa), Italy’s drugs regulator which authorized the study, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The trial, which enrolled 126 patients, about a third of the intended number, was stopped early after an interim analysis raised doubts about the anti-inflammatory medicine’s effectiveness.
“Although not effective in all patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, it is possible that selected subgroups of patients may have a better response,” Aifa said.