The primary endpoint of clinical status in hospitalised adult patients with severe COVID-19 associated pneumonia was measured by a 7-category ordinal scale, which tracked patients' clinical status based on the need for intensive care and/or ventilator use, as well as supplemental oxygen requirements.
A study of 452 hospitalized COVID-19 patients revealed that the drug was no better than a placebo in improving patients' clinical status. "From an investment perspective, we never assumed a pandemic-driven long-term increase of Actemra revenues", Bank Vontobel analysts said.
India's Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, for example, has been trialling its anti-flu drug favipiravir on patients with mild to moderate infections. It also didn't improve death rates.
Tocilizumab, a drug that was recommended by the Indian Council for Medical Research ( ICMR) for emergency use in coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, has been found to be ineffective in reducing the associated pneumonia, according to a press release issued by its promoters.
Roche is now collaborating with Gilead to determine whether Actemra and Remdesivir could be used together as a combined treatment for COVID-19.
The European Commission had struck a deal with Roche to secure supplies of RoActemra, but it was too early to comment on the commercial impact on the negative results of the COVACTA trial, a Roche spokesman said. "We will continue to generate evidence to provide a more complete understanding of Actemra/RoActemra (tocilizumab) in COVID-19 associated pneumonia".
COVACTA evaluated the safety and efficacy of intravenous Actemra added to standard-of-care treatment compared to treatment with placebo plus standard of care.
Scientists around the world are testing various existing medications as potential treatments against COVID-19, including treatments against HIV and multiple sclerosis.