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1.
Blood ; 138(19):4004-4004, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1602457

ABSTRACT

Dysregulated inflammatory responses are characterized by inappropriate levels of inflammatory markers, speed of generation, degree, and major site of production, such as a vital organ. COVID-19 severity and mortality are strongly associated with interleukin (IL)-6 levels. High IL-6 levels are also observed in idiopathic Multicentric Castleman Disease (iMCD). Previously, we developed the first anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments and showed that C-reactive protein (CRP) production could be fully controlled by IL-6 in humans. Using mathematical modeling, with CRP as an IL-6 surrogate marker, we predicted the ability of an anti-IL-6 mAb to block plasma IL-6 activity and showed IL-6 inhibition was dependent on the extent of whole-body IL-6 production. We postulate that in patients (pts) in whom IL-6 concentration at the site of inflammation is higher than in the plasma, full blockade of plasma IL-6 activity, shown by complete CRP inhibition, is the minimum requirement to achieve clinical efficacy. CRP inhibition with tocilizumab (TCZ) in pts with COVID-19. We identified 35 published studies evaluating the efficacy or potential role of anti-IL-6 therapy in pts with severe COVID-19. Surprisingly, only one (Luo et al. J Med Virol 2020;92:814) reported dynamics of CRP reduction for individual patients throughout treatment. We fitted a hypothetical curve of CRP reduction required to completely block IL-6, based on the half-life of CRP, and added data points of CRP serum levels from pts treated with anti-IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) therapy, TCZ, in this study. Complete reduction of CRP was not achieved in all patients: 3 pts who died had CRP levels ≥12.8 mg/l. Of 2 pts whose disease worsened, CRP levels were 93.5 mg/l and 6.3 mg/l. However, pts whose condition stabilized (n=9), or whose symptoms improved (n=1), had CRP levels close to the theoretical curve that is likely required to fully block IL-6 (CRP levels ≤5.0 mg/l). Half of these pts had been given repeated doses of TCZ. Siltuximab (SIL) treatment (NCT01024036 trial) for pts with iMCD. To assess the impact of baseline CRP levels on response to anti-IL-6 therapy, SIL, patients were divided into low and high CRP groups based on a baseline CRP level threshold of 40 mg/l (corresponding to ~40 pg/ml of IL-6;Fig 1). In patients with low baseline CRP levels (<40 mg/l;n=35), CRP levels were significantly reduced with SIL treatment on day 8 (n=26;P=0.0003) and day 15 (n=22;P=0.0043) post-dosing. In patients with high baseline CRP levels (>40 mg/l;n=17), CRP levels were significantly reduced on day 8 (n=17;P<0.0001) and day 15 (n=15;P<0.0001) post-dosing (Fig 1). A significant increase in CRP levels from day 8 to day 15 was observed in these patients (P=0.0120);this increase was not observed in patients with low baseline CRP levels (P=0.243;Fig 1). There was a negative correlation between maximum CRP and hemoglobin change (P<0.001). Inhibition of IL-6 activity by anti-IL-6 (SIL 700 mg) and anti-IL-6R (TCZ 800 mg) as monotherapy, intensified, or combined therapy. To evaluate the effect of therapy on IL-6 activity, our algorithm modeled inhibition of IL-6-(IL-6R/soluble IL-6R)-gp130 transducer complexes. This serves as a proxy for IL-6 bioactivity and accounts for the buffering capacity of gp130, which can be overwhelmed in inflammatory situations with high IL-6 concentrations. Due to uncertainty over the concentration of mAbs in alveoli relative to plasma, we modeled the effects of SIL and TCZ at local concentrations of 100%, 10%, and 1% (Fig 2) of those in plasma. Our model demonstrated that anti-IL-6 was associated with stronger inhibition of CRP than anti-IL-6R. However, only the association of both anti-IL-6 and anti-IL-6R mAbs was associated with a total blockade of CRP, which is probably necessary when IL-6 levels are associated with high risk to the patient. Different administration schedules to intensify anti-IL-6 therapy were modeled, including the repeated or combined use of anti-IL-6 and anti-IL-6R mAbs. The results form a basis to optimize treatment trategies to avoid the cytokine storm in several diseases, including cancer, iMCD, and autoimmune disorders. The feasibility of the theoretically defined approaches needs to be evaluated, particularly the potential side-effect profile for a combined treatment approach. In conclusion, in clinical practice, IL-6 inhibition should be individualized based on pathophysiology and regular CRP monitoring. Figure 1 Disclosures Rossi:  E-SANA Inc: Other: Co-founder of E-SANA Inc ;EUSA Pharma: Consultancy;LEO Pharma: Consultancy;NPO Petrovax Pharm: Consultancy. Levon:  E-SANA Inc: Other: Co-founder of E-SANA Inc. Kanhai:  EUSA Pharma: Current Employment. Fajgenbaum:  EUSA Pharma: Research Funding;N/A: Other: Holds pending provisional patents for ‘Methods of treating idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease with JAK1/2 inhibition’ and ‘Discovery and validation of a novel subgroup and therapeutic target in idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease’;Pfizer: Other: Study drug for clinical trial of sirolimus. OffLabel Disclosure: Siltuximab is approved for the treatment of iMCD. Tocilizumab is approved for the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis, Giant cell arteritis, Cytokine release syndrome, Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis and Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Combination therapy using Siltuximab and Tocilizumab has not yet been approved.

3.
Curr Opin Rheumatol ; 33(5): 419-430, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1310947

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health crisis with considerable mortality and morbidity. A role for cytokine storm and therapeutic immunomodulation in a subgroup of patients with severe COVID-19 was proposed early in the pandemic. The concept of cytokine storm in COVID-19 has been criticised, given the lack of clear definition and relatively modest cytokinaemia (which may be necessary for viral clearance) compared with acute respiratory distress syndrome and bacterial sepsis. Here we consider the arguments for and against the concept of cytokine storm in COVID-19. RECENT FINDINGS: Several criteria have been proposed to identify the subgroup of COVID-19 patients exhibiting a cytokine storm. The beneficial effects of corticosteroids and interleukin-6 inhibition suggest that inflammation is a modifiable pathogenic component of severe COVID-19. The presence of genetic polymorphisms and pathogenic auto-autoantibodies in severe COVID-19 also suggests a significant contribution of immune dysregulation to poor outcomes. SUMMARY: Hyperinflammation is a key component of severe COVID-19, residing underneath the cytokine storm umbrella term, associated with poor outcomes. Better understanding of the aetiopathogenesis, with identification of biomarkers to predict treatment responses and prognosis, will hopefully enable a stratified and ultimately precision medicine approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines , Humans , Immunomodulation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Lancet ; 397(10286): 1749, 2021 May 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219082
5.
Cell Metab ; 32(2): 145-147, 2020 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691958

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven unprecedented efforts to identify existing treatments that can be quickly and effectively repurposed to reduce morbidity and mortality. In this issue of Cell Metabolism, Zhang et al. (2020) report an association between statin use and improved outcomes in a large observational study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Given the widespread availability, low cost, and safety of statins, this promising result should be further investigated in randomized controlled trials.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning/methods , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , COVID-19 , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Infect Dis Ther ; 9(3): 435-449, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381948

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2/2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a global pandemic with no approved treatments or vaccines. Many treatments have already been administered to COVID-19 patients but have not been systematically evaluated. We performed a systematic literature review to identify all treatments reported to be administered to COVID-19 patients and to assess time to clinically meaningful response for treatments with sufficient data. We searched PubMed, BioRxiv, MedRxiv, and ChinaXiv for articles reporting treatments for COVID-19 patients published between 1 December 2019 and 27 March 2020. Data were analyzed descriptively. Of the 2706 articles identified, 155 studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 9152 patients. The cohort was 45.4% female and 98.3% hospitalized, and mean (SD) age was 44.4 years (SD 21.0). The most frequently administered drug classes were antivirals, antibiotics, and corticosteroids, and of the 115 reported drugs, the most frequently administered was combination lopinavir/ritonavir, which was associated with a time to clinically meaningful response (complete symptom resolution or hospital discharge) of 11.7 (1.09) days. There were insufficient data to compare across treatments. Many treatments have been administered to the first 9152 reported cases of COVID-19. These data serve as the basis for an open-source registry of all reported treatments given to COVID-19 patients at www.CDCN.org/CORONA . Further work is needed to prioritize drugs for investigation in well-controlled clinical trials and treatment protocols.

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