There is the urgent need to study the effects of immunomodulating agents as therapy for Covid-19. An observational, cohort, prospective study with 30 days of observation was carried out to assess clinical outcomes in 88 patients hospitalized for Covid-19 pneumonia and treated with canakinumab (300 mg sc). Median time from diagnosis of Covid-19 by viral swab to administration of canakinumab was 7.5 days (range 0–30, IQR 4–11). Median PaO2/FiO2 increased from 160 (range 53–409, IQR 122–210) at baseline to 237 (range 72–533, IQR 158–331) at day 7 after treatment with canakinumab (p < 0.0001). Improvement of oxygen support category was observed in 61.4% of cases. Median duration of hospitalization following administration of canakinumab was 6 days (range 0–30, IQR 4–11). At 7 days, 58% of patients had been discharged and 12 (13.6%) had died. Significant differences between baseline and 7 days were observed for absolute lymphocyte counts (mean 0.60 vs 1.11 × 109/L, respectively, p < 0.0001) and C-reactive protein (mean 31.5 vs 5.8 mg/L, respectively, p < 0.0001).Overall survival at 1 month was 79.5% (95% CI 68.7–90.3). Oxygen-support requirements improved and overall mortality was 13.6%. Confirmation of the efficacy of canakinumab for Covid-19 warrants further study in randomized controlled trials.
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