A Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo Controlled Trial of Clazakizumab for the Treatment of COVID-19 Pneumonia With Hyperinflammation
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:We designed this study to test whether clazakizumab, a direct interleukin-6 inhibitor, benefits patients hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19 disease accompanied by hyperinflammation. DESIGN/METHODS:Multicenter, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, seamless phase II/III trial. SETTING/METHODS:Five U.S. medical centers. PATIENTS/METHODS:Adults inpatients with severe COVID-19 disease and hyperinflammation. INTERVENTIONS/METHODS:Eighty-one patients enrolled in phase II, randomized 1:1:1 to low-dose (12.5â€‰mg) or high-dose (25â€‰mg) clazakizumab or placebo. Ninety-seven patients enrolled in phase III, randomized 1:1 to high-dose clazakizumab or placebo. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS/RESULTS:The primary outcome was 28-day ventilator-free survival. Secondary outcomes included overall survival ,frequency and duration of intubation, and frequency and duration of ICU admission. Per Data Safety and Monitoring Board recommendations, additional secondary outcomes describing clinical status and status changes, as measured by an ordinal scale, were added. Bayesian cumulative proportional odds, logistic, and Poisson regression models were used. The low-dose arm was dropped when the phase II study suggested superiority of the high-dose arm. We report on 152 patients, 74 randomized to placebo and 78 to high-dose clazakizumab. Patients receiving clazakizumab had greater odds of 28-day ventilator-free survival (odds ratio [OR] = 3.84; p [OR > 1] 99.9%), as well as overall survival at 28 and 60 days (OR = 1.75; p [OR > 1] 86.5% and OR = 2.53; p [OR > 1] 97.7%). Clazakizumab was associated with lower odds of intubation (OR = 0.2; p [OR] < 1; 99.9%) and ICU admission (OR = 0.26; p [OR < 1] 99.6%); shorter durations of ventilation and ICU stay (risk ratio [RR] < 0.75; p [RR < 1] > 99% for both); and greater odds of improved clinical status at 14, 28, and 60 days (OR = 2.32, p [OR > 1] 98.1%; OR = 3.36, p [OR > 1] 99.6%; and OR = 3.52, p [OR > 1] 99.8%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:Clazakizumab significantly improved 28-day ventilator-free survival, 28- and 60-day overall survival, as well as clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and hyperinflammation.
Pancreas Transplantation from Hepatitis C Viremic Donors to Uninfected Recipients
Despite utilization of hepatitis C viremic organs for hepatitis C naÃ¯ve recipients (HCV D+/R-) in other solid organ transplants, HCV viremic pancreata remain an unexplored source of donor organs. This study reports the first series of HCV D+/R- pancreas transplants. HCV D+/R- had shorter wait list times compared to HCV D-/R-, waiting a mean of 16 days from listing for HCV positive organs. HCV D+/R- had a lower match allocation sequence than HCV D-/R-, and this correlated to receipt of organs with a lower Pancreas Donor Risk Index (PDRI) score. All HCV D+R- had excellent graft function with a mean follow up of 438 days and had undetectable HCV RNA levels by a mean of 23 days after initiation of HCV-directed therapy. The rates of infectious complications, re-operation, readmission, rejection, and length of stay were not impacted by donor HCV status. A national review of potential ideal pancreas donors found that 37% of ideal HCV negative pancreas allografts were transplanted, compared to only 5% of ideal HCV positive pancreas allografts. The results of the current study demonstrate the safety of accepting HCV positive pancreata for HCV naÃ¯ve recipients and advocates for increased utilization of ideal HCV positive pancreas allografts.
Mild Clinical Course of COVID-19 in 3 Patients Receiving Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting C5 Complement for Hematologic Disorders
BACKGROUND Patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies might be more susceptible to COVID-19. Conversely, an exaggerated inflammatory response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection might be blunted by certain forms of immunosuppression, which could be protective. Indeed, there are data from animal models demonstrating that complement may be a part of the pathophysiology of coronavirus infections. There is also evidence from an autopsy series demonstrating complement deposition in the lungs of patients with COVID-19. This raises the question of whether patients on anti-complement therapy could be protected from COVID-19. CASE REPORT Case 1 is a 39-year-old woman with an approximately 20-year history of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), who had recently been switched from treatment with eculizumab to ravulizumab prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Case 2 is a 54-year-old woman with a cadaveric renal transplant for lupus nephritis, complicated by thrombotic microangiopathy, who was maintained on eculizumab, which she started several months before she developed the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Case 3 is a 60-year-old woman with a 14-year history of PNH, who had been treated with eculizumab since 2012, and was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the time of her scheduled infusion. All 3 patients had a relatively mild course of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS We see no evidence of increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 in these patients on anti-complement therapy, which might actually have accounted for the mild course of infection. The effect of anti-complement therapy on COVID-19 disease needs to be determined in clinical trials.