A clinical trial was conducted from 27 march by doctors and pharmacists of the hospitals in paris and in Strasbourg. It was for the purpose of demonstrating the effectiveness of Tocilizumab in the fight against the inflammatory response in lungs of patients covid-19.
A hope of treatment ?
Tocilizumab is a monoclonal antibody currently used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. According to the leaders of the clinical trial, the results regarding the effectiveness of this drug on the covid-19 would be very encouraging. Thus, Public Assistance Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP) has confirmed that Tocilizumab significantly improves the vital prognosis of the patients with a pneumonia-related covid-19. This study was carried out on the basis of a sample of patients hospitalized for pneumonia considered moderate to severe, but not requiring implementation of resuscitation at the time of their admission. A profile corresponding to 5% to 10% of patients infected by the covid-19.
What is the mechanism of action for what results ?
Tocilizumab is avoiding an exaggerated reaction of the immune system. It is responsible for the blocking of the inflammatory reaction at the level of the lung (by blocking the action of receptors of the interleukine6). This medication prevents this reaction to reach a phase of irreversible responsible for the deaths of some patients. Of the 129 patients covid-19 hospitalized, 64 have continued to be treated with the usual treatment, and another 65 were treated with Tocilizumab. Among the second group, the number of patients transferred to intensive care units and the number of deaths have been much lower.
This discovery would allow to face the future with greater serenity, particularly in intensive care units where the shortage of places is a real problem.
A high price ?
The results of this study remain to be consolidated and will be published soon. In addition, although its side effects and the tolerance of the patient be known, a long-term trial will be needed to confirm the efficacy of this drug in this indication. Its effectiveness must be put in balance with its price of 990 euros.
Marc Antognetti, pharmacist and a specialist in health law and european law. Bring the look of a health care professional on subjects related with Health is key to inform.
Author(s): Marc Antognetti for France-Soir