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EU evaluates arthritis drug to treat COVID-19 patients with pneumonia

By Reuters 19 July 2021
Caption
People wait to receive a second dose of vaccine against Covid-19 during a mass vaccination campaign at the Juan Antonio Samaranch Olympic Hall in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 8 June 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Fehim Demir)

July 19 (Reuters) - The European medicines regulator said on Monday it is evaluating an application to use arthritis drug, Kineret, to treat COVID-19 in adult patients with pneumonia who are at risk of developing severe respiratory failure.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it will assess data including results from two ongoing clinical studies investigating the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients hospitalised with COVID-19.

Kineret, currently authorised to treat a number of inflammatory conditions, is made by Swedish rare disease drug maker Sobi.

The drug reduces the activity of the immune system, and its active substance blocks the activity of a chemical messenger in the immune process that leads to inflammation.

“It is thought that this could also help reduce the inflammation and tissue damage associated with COVID-19,” the EMA said, adding that it expects the outcome from the evaluation in October. (Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V)

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