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Clinical Trials in Europe Show Promise for Treatment of COVID-19


Published on April 17, 2020

Roche Phase III Covid-19 clinical trial is under way, as United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues his recovery from the novel coronavirus.

As the UK responds to high numbers and their own PM’s brush with death from Covid-19, it is clear no greater need exists than to see approval of life-saving treatments available to the worldwide market. Roche continues to be a major player as the pharmaceutical industry works with global regulatory leaders in the fight against the pandemic.

In March, Pharma Times reported that Roche was approved (with French partner Sanofi, Eusa Pharma and US-based Regeneron) to undertake a Phase III clinical trial (COVACTA). Enrollment of 330 patients from across the world began in early April, with six patients enrolled to date from Spain and the US. Eligible patients must be hospitalized with “severe” Covid-19 pneumonia to be considered for the FDA-backed trial.

Actemra/RoActemra has previously been claimed as part of China’s Covid-19 treatment plan, published by the NHC on March 3, 2020. Existing independent studies for the drug’s use with Covid-19 patients offer limited published findings, such as a three-patient report of major improvement from a Naples, Italy hospital that was then tried at other Italian hospitals. This will be the first well-controlled, global study to clinically examine safety and efficacy. The trial paves the way to confirm or disprove Actemra/RoActemra as a viable treatment for patients suffering serious cases of Covid-19.

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