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1.
Expert Opin Drug Discov ; : 1-16, 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774242

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The ongoing COVID19 pandemic represents an unprecedented opportunity to test the feasibility of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies against respiratory viruses. While many hurdles were easily predictable (e.g. time to develop, scalability, and economic sustainability), mAb cocktails (i.e. the combination of two mAbs) were finally deployed in 2021, one year after the beginning of the pandemic. Of them, the REGN-COV-2 cocktail was likely the most successful experience and contributed at saving lives at the time of the wave sustained by the Delta variant of concern (VOC). AREAS COVERED: Herein, the authors review the preclinical and clinical history of the casirivimab + imdevimab cocktail for the treatment of novel coronavirus infection. The authors furthermore provide the reader with their perspectives on this cocktail including its current place in the treatment armamentarium. EXPERT OPINION: Unfortunately, results from clinical trials highlighted a very limited efficacy in inpatients; furthermore, the current evidence with regards to its lack of effectiveness against the current dominant VOC (omicron) suggests a very limited use of these drugs in the future. In the authors' opinion, this story reminds us of the limitations of mAb therapies in pandemic settings, and of the inferiority of monoclonal versus polyclonal antibody-based therapeutics in such scenarios.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310568

ABSTRACT

Human respiratory beta coronavirus are emerging causes for Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC). SARS-CoV2 is circulating worldwide since November 2019. We review here the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in COVID-19, and data supporting the role for dysregulation of the RAS counterregulatory axis due to binding of SARS-CoV2 S protein to ACE2 receptor. Since this counterregulatory axis provides benefits not only on the cardiovascular front but also in acute lung injury, we speculate on potential use of ACE inhibitors and AT1R blockers in critically ill COVID-19 patients, and report current evidences.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310567

ABSTRACT

Convalescent blood product therapy has been introduced since early 1900s to treat emerging infectious disease based on the evidence that polyclonal neutralizing antibodies can reduce duration of viremia. Recent large outbreaks of viral diseases for whom effective antivirals or vaccines are still lacking has revamped the interest in convalescent plasma as life-saving treatments. This review summarizes historical settings of application, and surveys current technologies for collection, manufacturing, pathogen inactivation, and banking, with a focus on COVID-19.

4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(1)2022 Jan 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614039

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although several therapeutic strategies have been investigated, the optimal treatment approach for patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remains to be elucidated. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of polyclonal intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy in COVID-19. METHODS: A systematic literature search using appropriate medical subject heading (MeSH) terms was performed through Medline (PubMed), EMBASE, SCOPUS, OVID and Cochrane Library electronic databases. The main outcomes considered were mortality and safety of IVIG versus placebo/standard of care. This review was carried out in accordance with Cochrane methodology including the risk bias assessment and grading of the quality of evidence. Measures of treatment effect were mean differences (MD) together with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for continuous outcome measures and risk ratio (RR) or MD for binary outcomes. Two reviewers independently extracted data from individual studies, and disagreements were resolved by a third reviewer. RESULTS: A total of 2401 COVID-19 patients from 10 studies (four randomized controlled trials (RCT) and six non-randomized controlled trials (non-RCTs)) were included in the analysis. Participants received IVIG or placebo/standard of care. The use of IVIG was not associated with a significantly reduced risk of death (RR 0.50, 95% CIs 0.18-1.36, p = 0.17 for RCTs; RR 0.95, 95% CIs 0.61-1.58, p = 0.94 for non-RCTs; low certainty of evidence). IVIG significantly reduced the length of hospital stay (MD -2.24, 95% CIs -3.20/-1.27; p = 0.00001; low certainty of evidence), although this difference was significant only for studies evaluating moderate COVID-19 patients. No significant difference was observed in the incidence of overall and serious adverse events between IVIG recipients and controls (very low certainty of evidence). CONCLUSIONS: The current evidence from the literature does not support the use of IVIG in COVID-19 patients.

5.
Drug Saf ; 44(12): 1247-1269, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504328

ABSTRACT

To date, four vaccines have been authorised for emergency use and under conditional approval by the European Medicines Agency to prevent COVID-19: Comirnaty, COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen, Spikevax (previously COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna) and Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca). Although the benefit-risk profile of these vaccines was proven to be largely favourable in the general population, evidence in special cohorts initially excluded from the pivotal trials, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women, children/adolescents, immunocompromised people and persons with a history of allergy or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, is still limited. In this narrative review, we critically overview pre- and post-marketing evidence on the potential benefits and risks of marketed COVID-19 vaccines in the above-mentioned special cohorts. In addition, we summarise the recommendations of the scientific societies and regulatory agencies about COVID-19 primary prevention in the same vaccinee categories.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hypersensitivity , Immunocompromised Host , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , /therapeutic use , Adolescent , Adult , Breast Feeding , Child , Child, Preschool , Europe , Female , Humans , Infant , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Drug Saf ; 43(8): 699-709, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482336

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that hit the world in 2020 triggered a massive dissemination of information (an "infodemic") about the disease that was channeled through the print, broadcast, web, and social media. This infodemic also included sensational and distorted information about drugs that likely first influenced opinion leaders and people particularly active on social media and then other people, thus affecting choices by individual patients everywhere. In particular, information has spread about some drugs approved for other indications (chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists, favipiravir, and umifenovir) that could have led to inappropriate and therefore hazardous use. In this article, we analyze the rationale behind the claims for use of these drugs in COVID-19, the communication about their effects on the disease, the consequences of this communication on people's behavior, and the responses of some influential regulatory authorities in an attempt to minimize the actual or potential risks arising from this behavior. Finally, we discuss the role of pharmacovigilance stakeholders in emergency management and possible strategies to deal with other similar crises in the future.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Drug Utilization/trends , Information Dissemination , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Public Health , Attitude to Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/classification , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Humans , Information Dissemination/ethics , Information Dissemination/methods , Medication Therapy Management/ethics , Medication Therapy Management/standards , Pharmacovigilance , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Public Health/methods , Public Health/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media/ethics , Social Media/standards , Social Medicine/ethics , Social Medicine/standards
7.
BioDrugs ; 35(6): 749-764, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1460522

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Biological drugs have improved the management of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) despite being associated with important safety issues such as immunogenicity, infections, and malignancies in real-world settings. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the potential of a large Italian multi-database distributed network for use in the postmarketing surveillance of biological drugs, including biosimilars, in patients with IMID. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using 13 Italian regional claims databases during 2010-2019. A tailor-made R-based tool developed for distributed analysis of claims data using a study-specific common data model was customized for this study. We measured the yearly prevalence of biological drug users and the frequency of switches between originator and biosimilars for infliximab, etanercept, and adalimumab separately and stratified them by calendar year and region. We then calculated the cumulative number of users and person-years (PYs) of exposure to individual biological drugs approved for IMIDs. For a number of safety outcomes (e.g., severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-COV-2] infection), we conducted a sample power calculation to estimate the PYs of exposure required to investigate their association with individual biological drugs approved for IMIDs, considering different strengths of association. RESULTS: From a total underlying population of almost 50 million inhabitants from 13 Italian regions, we identified 143,602 (0.3%) biological drug users, with a cumulative exposure of 507,745 PYs during the entire follow-up. The mean age ± standard deviation of biological drug users was 49.3 ± 16.3, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.2. The age-adjusted yearly prevalence of biological drug users increased threefold from 0.7 per 1000 in 2010 to 2.1 per 1000 in 2019. Overall, we identified 40,996 users of biosimilars of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors (i.e., etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab) in the years 2015-2019. Of these, 46% (N = 18,845) switched at any time between originator and biosimilars or vice versa. To investigate a moderate association (incidence rate ratio 2) between biological drugs approved for IMIDs and safety events of interest, such as optic neuritis (lowest background incidence rate 10.4/100,000 PYs) or severe infection (highest background incidence rate 4312/100,000 PYs), a total of 43,311 PYs and 104 PYs of exposure to individual biological drugs, respectively, would be required. As such, using this network, of 15 individual biological drugs approved for IMIDs, the association with those adverse events could be investigated for four (27%) and 14 (93%), respectively. CONCLUSION: The VALORE project multi-database network has access to data on more than 140,000 biological drug users (and > 0.5 million PYs) from 13 Italian regions during the years 2010-2019, which will be further expanded with the inclusion of data from other regions and more recent calendar years. Overall, the cumulated amount of person-time of exposure to biological drugs approved for IMIDs provides enough statistical power to investigate weak/moderate associations of almost all individual compounds and the most relevant safety outcomes. Moreover, this network may offer the opportunity to investigate the interchangeability of originator and biosimilars of several TNFα inhibitors in different therapeutic areas in real-world settings.


Subject(s)
Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Infliximab/adverse effects , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Expert Opin Drug Discov ; 16(12): 1403-1414, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324534

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, research has been oriented toward the development of therapies that could cure critically ill patients and treatments that can reduce the number of hospitalized patients, in order to ease the pressure on health-care systems. Bamlanivimab, developed from human convalescent plasma, was the first monoclonal antibody to become available for emergency use in several countries. Expectations related to its use in COVID-19 patients as a single agent have been largely disregarded, especially against E484K-carrying SARS-CoV-2 variants.Areas covered: In this drug discovery case history, the development of the drug is described starting from the identification and selection of the antibody, from the pre-clinical and clinical trials up to the post-authorization phase.Expert opinion: Bamlanivimab has shown some efficacy in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Initially approved as a monotherapy, due to poor efficacy it is currently only usable in combination with etesevimab. Pharmacokinetic limitations and mainly the onset of SARS-CoV-2 variants are the main reasons for this limited clinical use. The use in preventing hospitalization also has ethical limits related to the sustainability of care, especially if, considering similar effectiveness, bamlanivimab is compared with convalescent plasma.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Development , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
9.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289016

ABSTRACT

We summarize here in vitro evidences of efficacy for convalescent plasma, currently approved vaccines and monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC: B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and B.1.617.2), variants of interest (VOI: B.1.427/B.1.429, P.2, B.1.525, P.3, B.1.526, and B.1.671.1), and other strains (B.1.1.298 and B.1.258delta). While waiting from real world clinical efficacy, these data provide guidance for the treating physician.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Plasma/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive/standards , In Vitro Techniques , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
11.
Life (Basel) ; 11(2)2021 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085058

ABSTRACT

Effective treatments specific for COVID-19 are still lacking. In the setting of passive immunotherapies based on neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), randomized controlled trials of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein monoclonal antibodies (mAb), which have been granted emergency use authorization, have suggested benefit in early disease course (less than 72 hours from symptoms and seronegative). Meanwhile, polyclonal immunoglobulins (i.e., hyperimmune serum), derived either from CCP donations or from animals immunized with SARS-CoV-2 antigens, are likely to become the next nAb-derived candidate. We here discuss the pros and cons of hyperimmune serum versus CCP and mAb, and summarize the ongoing clinical trials of COVID-19 hyperimmune sera.

12.
MAbs ; 12(1): 1854149, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977345

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy has been previously exploited for viral infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia and Ebolavirus disease. In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, early signals of efficacy from convalescent plasma therapy have encouraged research and development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mAbs. While many candidates are in preclinical development, we focus here on anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing mAbs (or mAb cocktails) that represent the late-stage clinical pipeline, i.e., those currently in Phase 2 or Phase 3 clinical trials. We describe the structure, mechanism of action, and ongoing trials for VIR-7831, LY-CoV555, LY-CoV016, BGB-DXP593, REGN-COV2, and CT-P59. We speculate also on the next generation of these mAbs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods
14.
Clin Microbiol Rev ; 33(4)2020 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721176

ABSTRACT

Convalescent plasma (CP) therapy has been used since the early 1900s to treat emerging infectious diseases; its efficacy was later associated with the evidence that polyclonal neutralizing antibodies can reduce the duration of viremia. Recent large outbreaks of viral diseases for which effective antivirals or vaccines are still lacking has renewed the interest in CP as a life-saving treatment. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to the scaling up of CP therapy to unprecedented levels. Compared with historical usage, pathogen reduction technologies have now added an extra layer of safety to the use of CP, and new manufacturing approaches are being explored. This review summarizes historical settings of application, with a focus on betacoronaviruses, and surveys current approaches for donor selection and CP collection, pooling technologies, pathogen inactivation systems, and banking of CP. We additionally list the ongoing registered clinical trials for CP throughout the world and discuss the trial results published thus far.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Antibodies, Neutralizing/analysis , Biological Specimen Banks/standards , COVID-19 , Donor Selection/methods , Donor Selection/standards , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunization, Passive/adverse effects , Immunization, Passive/standards , Neutralization Tests/standards , Pandemics , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/therapy
15.
Crit Care ; 24(1): 331, 2020 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-593538

ABSTRACT

Sars-CoV-2 complications include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which require intensive care unit admission. These conditions have rapidly overwhelmed healthcare systems, with detrimental effects on the quality of care and increased mortality. Social isolation strategies have been implemented worldwide with the aim of reducing hospital pressure. Among therapeutic strategies, the use of immunomodulating drugs, to improve prognosis, seems promising. Particularly, since pneumonia and ARDS are associated with a cytokine storm, drugs belonging to therapeutic classes as anti-IL-6, anti-TNF, and JAK inhibitors are currently studied. In this article, we discuss the potential advantages of the most promising pharmacological approaches.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cytokines , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , COVID-19 , Critical Illness , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
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