Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

December 18, 2020

Tocilizumab in Patients Hospitalized with Covid-19 Pneumonia



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  • Tocilizumab reduced the rate of mechanical ventilation, but did not prevent deaths among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In a randomized trial of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia who were not receiving mechanical ventilation, tocilizumab reduced the likelihood of progression to the composite outcome of mechanical ventilation or death, but did not improve survival. The cumulative percentage of patients who had received mechanical ventilation or who had died by day 28 was 12% in the tocilizumab group and 19% in the placebo group (HR=0.56). Death from any cause by day 28 occurred in 10% of the patients in the tocilizumab group and 9% of those in the placebo group. No new safety concerns were identified. Study site selection emphasized enrolling individuals from high-risk and racial and ethnic minority populations. [EDITORIAL NOTE: A version of this manuscript was summarized in this report as a pre-print on October 23, 2020]

Salama et al. (Dec 17, 2020). Tocilizumab in Patients Hospitalized with Covid-19 Pneumonia. New England Journal of Medicine.