Sanofi COVID-19 drug Kevzara fails test, clinical trails halted
Paris: In a major setback, French drugmaker Sanofi, recently announced that the company has halted the clinical trials of its COVID-19 drug Kevzara after the trials failed.
In its announcement, the company stated that the global Phase 3 trial investigating intravenously administered Kevzara (sarilumab) at a dose of 200 mg or 400 mg in severely or critically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19 did not meet its primary endpoint and key secondary endpoint when Kevzara was compared to placebo added to usual hospital care.
The 420-patient randomized trial was conducted outside the U.S. in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, and Spain (86 in placebo, 161 in 200 mg, and 173 in 400 mg arms).
"Although this trial did not yield the results we hoped for, we are proud of the work that was achieved by the team to further our understanding of the potential use of Kevzara for the treatment of COVID-19," said John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research and Development, Sanofi.
"In times like these, commitment to properly designed, controlled clinical trials, provides the information and understanding the scientific community needs for fact-based decision making. At Sanofi, we are committed to help combat the global COVID-19 pandemic, including developing vaccine candidates that can be manufactured at large-scale," he added.
Although not statistically significant, numerical trends were observed toward a decrease in duration of hospital stay as well as an acceleration in time to improve clinical outcomes, as measured by a 2-point improvement from baseline on the 7-point scale. Further, a trend was observed towards reduced mortality in the critical patient group which was not seen in the severe patient group. Finally, the time to discharge was shortened by 2-3 days (statistically non-significant) in the patients treated with Kevzara within the first two weeks of treatment.
Serious adverse events were experienced by 26-29% of Kevzara patients and 24% of placebo patients. The incidence of adverse events leading to death was approximately 10% in all three treatment arms. Serious infections (including COVID-19 pneumonia) were observed in 11-13% of Kevzara patients and 12% of placebo patients.
Detailed results will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication later this year. At this time, Sanofi and Regeneron do not anticipate conducting further clinical studies for Kevzara in COVID-19.