A new clinical trial from Roswell Park and the University at Buffalo in upstate New York will take a look at the use of a rheumatoid arthritis drug for helping to manage severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The trial will be open to local patients with critical or severe symptoms, and it will focus on the use of sarilumab, also known as Kevzara, to help alleviate some of the more severe symptoms of COVID-19. The drug is FDA-approved for people with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, but some experts think that in regard to COVID-19 that it might help to prevent or control the level of inflammation in the lungs, especially in those with more severe COVID-19 symptoms.
"This strategy does not treat COVID-19," Dr. Igor Puzanov, the overall principal investigator on the trial, said in a press release. "It's designed to address some of its most damaging effects, caused by inflammation and cytokine storm. If it is proven effective in reducing or preventing severe lung injury in these patients, it could significantly reduce the need for ventilators. And that would truly be a big relief right now."