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Last October 8, Eli Lilly and Company published further findings that show promising news. The company specified its rheumatoid arthritis drug with Gilead Science’s placebo drug may help COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms.
The RA drug is called Bariticinib, licensed by Lilly from Incyte Corp INCY.O. Baricitinib is administered to COVID-19 patients and the antiviral drug Remdesivir. It is branded as Olumiant and is used as an anti-inflammatory medicine for rheumatoid arthritis.
The report also stated that patients under Baricitinib with Remdesivir had improved median recovery time from seven to eight days. The company stipulates that the combination of Baricitinib and Remdesivir improves the chances of severe COVID-19 patients surviving by 35%. Moreover, the increased chance was more evident in patients that need oxygen.
Lilly Bio-Medicines’ senior vice president and president Ilya Yuffa said they are excited about the results. He also stated that they would carry on with their current clinical trial comparing Baricitinib to other COVID-19 treatments.
This favorable news is not the first time for the company. Last September, Eli Lilly and Company also announced its initial findings from the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-2).
The Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The trial aims to assess novel therapeutic agents’ safety and efficacy in adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19. It began in May with over a thousand patients as participants and is administered in 100 sites across the globe.
The company’s September 14 findings indicated that patients’ median hospital stay is reduced than treatment with Remdesivir alone. Moreover, Lilly said 5.1% of patients on both drugs died after 29 days versus 7.8% with only Remdesivir.
Eli Lilly and Company started testing Baricitinib when BenevolentAI suggested that its anti-inflammatory effects may be used for COVID-19. In some cases, COVID-19 patients suffer an inflammatory response called “cytokine storm.” This response makes the immune system go on a frenzy and accidentally destroy the patient’s lung tissue.
Baricitinib is an approved medication to treat rheumatoid arthritis in the United States. Currently, Eli Lilly and Company is negotiating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization.
The RA drug will become the second drug that Lilly will seek said authorization. The company declared that they would seek emergency use authorization for its monoclonal antibody treatment. The antibody treatment aims to reduce hospitalization rates for patients with mild or moderate symptoms.