Covid: EMA approved use of RoActemra (Tocilizumab) for severe disease

Published by Laurent P. · Updated on 7 December 2021 at 18h04 · Published on 7 December 2021 at 16h11
Is Tocilizumab – a Covid therapy – still under rolling review? The European Medicines Agency announced they have approved RoActemra (Tocilizumab) on hospitalized severe Covid patients. This anti-inflammatory therapy usually used against arthritis is able to bloc interleukin-6 and prevent cytokine storms, namely a secondary inflammation of the lungs.

The search for a Covid therapy goes on… This Monday December 6, 2021, the European Health Agency approved the use of RoActemra (Tocilizumab), an anti-inflammatory, to help cure patients at the hospital and prevent them from developing more severe disease. They add this therapy is to be used with a steroid.

The decision follows the applictaion for marketing from the Swiss Roche drugmakers and an in-depth study about data supplied the EMA addressed this past August 12, in a release.

As for this drug evaluated by the EMA, it could be use to cure patients hospitalized who have been given a therapy based on corticoids and already under breathing support. The effectiveness if to be proven, but has been already for other diseases. Its action? Avoiding cytokine storms blocking interleukin-6 causing a secondary inflammation of the lungs: “RoActemra is considered a potential treatment for COVID-19 because of its ability to block the action of interleukin-6, a substance produced by the body’s immune system in response to inflammation, which plays an important role in COVID-19”, the European Medicines Agency explains.

Note the EMA has to carry out an “accelerated assessment” if the therapy works, and will approve its use only then. As for outcomes of the result, they are expected “by mid-October unless supplementary information is needed”, the European regulator adds. Anyway, this is good news and a promising discovery among the fight against Covid.

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