A study showed that Dupilumab, a drug for eczema and asthma, can improve the survival rate in people with moderate to severe COVID infection.
The study found that Dupilumab improved patient survival at 60 days and reduced the number of people who require Intensive Care. This randomized trial concluded that 90% of the study population treated with Dupilumab were alive till 60 days compared to 76.2% of the patients in the placebo group.
Dupilumab was approved by the FDA in 2017 for the treatment of moderate to severe eczema (a skin condition, which is also termed atopic dermatitis). Currently, Dupilumab is also used in the treatment of asthma and chronic sinusitis.
The researchers of this trial were inspired by the fact that people with COVID-19 infection were at a higher risk for the need for a ventilator if their blood had a higher level of interleukin-13, an inflammatory mediator in the body. Dupilumab is an anti-allergic drug that works by blocking the action of interleukin-13.
This study was carried out on 40 patients with moderate to severe COVID infection. It was a double-blind study in which neither the patients nor the doctors knew which group was taking the drug under study (Dupilumab) and placebo. By the end of 60 days, there were only two deaths in the Dupilumab group while five deaths in the placebo group.