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1.
Sci Adv ; 7(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388432

ABSTRACT

Using AI, we identified baricitinib as having antiviral and anticytokine efficacy. We now show a 71% (95% CI 0.15 to 0.58) mortality benefit in 83 patients with moderate-severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia with few drug-induced adverse events, including a large elderly cohort (median age, 81 years). An additional 48 cases with mild-moderate pneumonia recovered uneventfully. Using organotypic 3D cultures of primary human liver cells, we demonstrate that interferon-α2 increases ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in parenchymal cells by greater than fivefold. RNA-seq reveals gene response signatures associated with platelet activation, fully inhibited by baricitinib. Using viral load quantifications and superresolution microscopy, we found that baricitinib exerts activity rapidly through the inhibition of host proteins (numb-associated kinases), uniquely among antivirals. This reveals mechanistic actions of a Janus kinase-1/2 inhibitor targeting viral entry, replication, and the cytokine storm and is associated with beneficial outcomes including in severely ill elderly patients, data that incentivize further randomized controlled trials.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Azetidines/pharmacology , COVID-19/mortality , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Janus Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Liver/virology , Purines/pharmacology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Interferon alpha-2/metabolism , Italy , Janus Kinases/metabolism , Liver/drug effects , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Platelet Activation , Proportional Hazards Models , RNA-Seq , Spain , Virus Internalization/drug effects
2.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(10): 2752-2758, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301522

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Older adults are at the highest risk of severe disease and death due to COVID-19. Randomized data have shown that baricitinib improves outcomes in these patients, but focused stratified analyses of geriatric cohorts are lacking. Our objective was to analyze the efficacy of baricitinib in older adults with COVID-19 moderate-to-severe pneumonia. METHODS: This is a propensity score [PS]-matched retrospective cohort study. Patients from the COVID-AGE and Alba-Score cohorts, hospitalized for moderate-to-severe COVID-19 pneumonia, were categorized in two age brackets of age <70 years old (86 with baricitinib and 86 PS-matched controls) or ≥70 years old (78 on baricitinib and 78 PS-matched controls). Thirty-day mortality rates were analyzed with Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard models. RESULTS: Mean age was 79.1 for those ≥70 years and 58.9 for those <70. Exactly 29.6% were female. Treatment with baricitinib resulted in a significant reduction in death from any cause by 48% in patients aged 70 or older, an 18.5% reduction in 30-day absolute mortality risk (n/N: 16/78 [20.5%] baricitinib, 30/78 [38.5%] in PS-matched controls, p < 0.001) and a lower 30-day adjusted fatality rate (HR 0.21; 95% CI 0.09-0.47; p < 0.001). Beneficial effects on mortality were also observed in the age group <70 (8.1% reduction in 30-day absolute mortality risk; HR 0.14; 95% CI 0.03-0.64; p = 0.011). CONCLUSIONS: Baricitinib is associated with an absolute mortality risk reduction of 18.5% in adults older than 70 years hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Azetidines , COVID-19 , Pneumonia, Viral , Purines , Pyrazoles , Sulfonamides , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Azetidines/administration & dosage , Azetidines/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/adverse effects , Male , Mortality , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Purines/administration & dosage , Purines/adverse effects , Pyrazoles/administration & dosage , Pyrazoles/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Spain/epidemiology , Sulfonamides/administration & dosage , Sulfonamides/adverse effects
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