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


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.

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
Acta Biomed ; 92(2): e2021199, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1229598


Authors present 6 cases of abdominal bleeding associated with COVID-19, representing 1.35% of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients and hypothesize that there could be, although not very frequently, a relationship between SARS-CoV2 and bleeding. They excluded a side effect of the low molecular weight heparin therapy that all patients underwent during the course of the disease or other possible causes. Alterations of the coagulation state or a weakness of the vascular wall due toa presumed endotheliitis SARS-CoV-2 infection induced, are hypothesized by the authors. Investigation and follow-up for possible hemorrhagic problems in patients with COVID-19 is recommended. In particular, clinicians should be vigilant about retroperitoneal hemorrhage in COVID-19 patients. In addition to the fact that these patients are being treated with anticoagulants, anemia and abdominal pain are the signs that should lead us to suspect this type of haemorrhage. More studies are needed to understand if COVID-19 can be directly associated with bleeding. (

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Anticoagulants , Hemorrhage/chemically induced , Humans , RNA, Viral