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medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.09.22.22280245


BackgroundImmune dysregulation contributes to poorer outcomes in severe Covid-19. Immunomodulators targeting various pathways have improved outcomes. We investigated whether infliximab provides benefit over standard of care. MethodsWe conducted a master protocol investigating immunomodulators for potential benefit in treatment of participants hospitalized with Covid-19 pneumonia. We report results for infliximab (single dose infusion) versus shared placebo both with standard of care. Primary outcome was time to recovery by day 29 (28 days after randomization). Key secondary endpoints included 14-day clinical status and 28-day mortality. ResultsA total of 1033 participants received study drug (517 infliximab, 516 placebo). Mean age was 54.8 years, 60.3% were male, 48.6% Hispanic or Latino, and 14% Black. No statistically significant difference in the primary endpoint was seen with infliximab compared with placebo (recovery rate ratio 1.13, 95% CI 0.99-1.29; p=0.063). Median (IQR) time to recovery was 8 days (7, 9) for infliximab and 9 days (8, 10) for placebo. Participants assigned to infliximab were more likely to have an improved clinical status at day 14 (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.05-1.66). Twenty-eight-day mortality was 10.1% with infliximab versus 14.5% with placebo, with 41% lower odds of dying in those receiving infliximab (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.39-0.90). No differences in risk of serious adverse events including secondary infections. ConclusionsInfliximab did not demonstrate statistically significant improvement in time to recovery. It was associated with improved 14-day clinical status and substantial reduction in 28- day mortality compared with standard of care. Trial (NCT04593940).

Pneumonia , COVID-19
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.08.30.22279344


SARS-CoV-2 mRNA booster vaccines provide protection from severe disease, eliciting strong immunity that is further boosted by previous infection. However, it is unclear whether these immune responses are affected by the interval between infection and vaccination. Over a two-month period, we evaluated antibody and B-cell responses to a third dose mRNA vaccine in 66 individuals with different infection histories. Uninfected and post-boost but not previously infected individuals mounted robust ancestral and variant spike-binding and neutralizing antibodies, and memory B cells. Spike-specific B-cell responses from recent infection were elevated at pre-boost but comparatively less so at 60 days post-boost compared to uninfected individuals, and these differences were linked to baseline frequencies of CD27lo B cells. Day 60 to baseline ratio of BCR signaling measured by phosphorylation of Syk was inversely correlated to days between infection and vaccination. Thus, B-cell responses to booster vaccines are impeded by recent infection.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.07.29.20164525


Phase III platform trials are increasingly used to evaluate a sequence of treatments for a specific disease. Traditional approaches to structure such trials tend to focus on the sequential questions rather than the performance of the entire enterprise. We consider two-stage trials where an early evaluation is used to determine whether to continue with an individual study. To evaluate performance, we use the ratio of expected wins (RW), that is, the expected number of reported efficacious treatments using a two-stage approach compared to that using standard phase III trials. We approximate the test statistics during the course of a single trial using Brownian Motion and determine the optimal stage 1 time and type I error rate to maximize RW for fixed power. At times, a surrogate or intermediate endpoint may provide a quicker read on potential efficacy than use of the primary endpoint at stage 1. We generalize our approach to the surrogate endpoint setting and show improved performance, provided a good quality and powerful surrogate is available. We apply our methods to the design of a platform trial to evaluate treatments for COVID-19 disease.

Mucolipidoses , COVID-19
arxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-ARXIV | ID: ppzbmed-2006.10533v1


Introduction: Endpoint choice for randomized controlled trials of treatments for COVID-19 is complex. A new disease brings many uncertainties, but trials must start rapidly. COVID-19 is heterogeneous, ranging from mild disease that improves within days to critical disease that can last weeks and can end in death. While improvement in mortality would provide unquestionable evidence about clinical significance of a treatment, sample sizes for a study evaluating mortality are large and may be impractical. Furthermore, patient states in between "cure" and "death" represent meaningful distinctions. Clinical severity scores have been proposed as an alternative. However, the appropriate summary measure for severity scores has been the subject of debate, particularly in relating to the uncertainty about the time-course of COVID-19. Outcomes measured at fixed time-points may risk missing the time of clinical benefit. An endpoint such as time-to-improvement (or recovery), avoids the timing problem. However, some have argued that power losses will result from reducing the ordinal scale to a binary state of "recovered" vs "not recovered." Methods: We evaluate statistical power for possible trial endpoints for COVID-19 treatment trials using simulation models and data from two recent COVID-19 treatment trials. Results: Power for fixed-time point methods depends heavily on the time selected for evaluation. Time-to-improvement (or recovery) analyses do not specify a time-point. Time-to-event approaches have reasonable statistical power, even when compared to a fixed time-point method evaluated at the optimal time. Discussion: Time-to-event analyses methods have advantages in the COVID-19 setting, unless the optimal time for evaluating treatment effect is known in advance. Even when the optimal time is known, a time-to-event approach may increase power for interim analyses.

Death , COVID-19