Physicians from UCLA, together with collaborators, have reported tantalizingly positive anecdotal results from the compassionate use of the humanized monoclonal antibody lerorimab made by CytoDyn in the treatment of COVID-19 in 23 severely/critically ill patients. The results were reported online on October 20, 2020 in Clinical Infectious Diseases (https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa1583/5932277?searchresult=1). The open-access article is titled “Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients Receiving Compassionate Use Leronlimab.” The research team, led by Otto Yang, MD, in UCLA’s Department of Medicine, followed 23 hospitalized severe/critical COVID-19 patients who received 700 mg leronlimab subcutaneously, repeated after seven days in 17/23 patients still hospitalized. 18/23 also received other experimental treatments, including convalescent plasma, hydroxychloroquine, steroids, and/or tocilizumab. 5/23 received leronlimab after blinded placebo-controlled trials of remdesivir, sarilumab, selinexor, or tocilizumab. Outcomes and results were extracted from medical records. The mean age of the 23 patients was 69.5±14.9 years. 20/23 had significant co-morbidities. At baseline, 22/23 were receiving supplemental oxygen (3/23 high flow, 7/23 mechanical ventilation). Blood showed markedly elevated inflammatory markers (ferritin, D-dimer, C-reactive protein) and elevated neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio. By day 30 after initial dosing, 17/23 were recovered, 2/23 were still hospitalized, and 4/23 had died. Of the 7 intubated at baseline, 4/7 were fully recovered off oxygen, 2/7 were still hospitalized, and 1/7 had died. Based on this data, the researchers concluded that lerolimab appeared safe and well tolerated.
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