PARIS – September 1, 2020 – Sanofi today announced that the global Phase 3 trial investigating intravenously administered Kevzara® (sarilumab) at a dose of 200 mg or 400 mga in severely or critically illb patients hospitalized with COVID-19 did not meet its primary endpoint and key secondary endpointc 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. Executive Vice President and Global Head of R&D, 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.”
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.
a The protocol initially prescribed a single infusion, and subsequently amended to allow a second infusion of the randomly assigned treatment 24-48 hours after the initial infusion if clinical deterioration or no improvement was observed according to protocol-defined criteria.
b Severe disease: requires oxygen by nasal cannula, simple face mask, or other similar oxygen delivery device. Critical disease: requires oxygen by non-rebreather mask or high-flow nasal cannula, or use of invasive or non-invasive ventilation, or treatment in an intensive care unit.
c The primary endpoint was time to improvement of 2 points or greater on a 7-point clinical scale (where 1=death; 2=hospitalized, on invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation;3=hospitalized, on non-invasive ventilation or high flow oxygen devices; 4=hospitalized, requiring supplemental oxygen; 5=hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen - requiring ongoing medical care (COVID-19 related or otherwise); 6=hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen - no longer requires ongoing medical care; 7=not hospitalized). The key secondary endpoint was percentage of patients alive at Day 29.
About Kevzara® (sarilumab) Injection
Kevzara is currently approved in multiple countries to treat adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have not responded to or tolerated previous therapy.
Kevzara binds specifically to the IL-6 receptor and has been shown to inhibit IL-6 mediated signalling. IL-6 is an immune system protein produced in increased quantities in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and has been associated with disease activity, joint destruction and other systemic problems.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR KEVZARA® (sarilumab) INJECTION
KEVZARA can cause serious side effects including:
SERIOUS INFECTIONS: KEVZARA is a medicine that affects your immune system. KEVZARA can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. Some people have serious infections while using KEVZARA, including tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses that can spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Your healthcare provider should test you for TB before starting KEVZARA. Your healthcare provider should monitor you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with KEVZARA.
Before starting KEVZARA, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, with or without a fever. Symptoms may include sweats or chills, muscle aches, a cough, shortness of breath, blood in your phlegm, weight loss, warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body, diarrhea or stomach pain, burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal, if you feel very tired, or if you are being treated for an infection, get a lot of infections or have repeated infections
- have diabetes, HIV, or a weakened immune system
- have TB, or have been in close contact with someone with TB
- live or have lived, or have traveled to certain parts of the country (such as the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and the Southwest) where there is an increased chance of getting certain fungal infections (histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis)
- have or have had hepatitis
After starting KEVZARA, call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of an infection.
CHANGES IN CERTAIN LABORATORY TEST RESULTS: Your healthcare provider should do blood tests before and after starting KEVZARA to check for low neutrophil (white blood cells that help the body fight off bacterial infections) counts, low platelet (blood cells that help with blood clotting and stop bleeding) counts, and an increase in certain liver function tests. Changes in test results are common with KEVZARA and can be severe. You may also have changes in other laboratory tests, such as your blood cholesterol levels. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests 4 to 8 weeks after starting KEVZARA and then every 6 months during treatment to check for an increase in blood cholesterol levels.
TEARS (PERFORATION) OF THE STOMACH OR INTESTINES: Tell your healthcare provider if you have had a condition known as diverticulitis (inflammation in parts of the large intestine) or ulcers in your stomach or intestines. Some people using KEVZARA had tears in their stomach or intestine. This happens most often in people who also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), corticosteroids, or methotrexate. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have fever and stomach (abdominal) pain that does not go away.
CANCER: KEVZARA may increase your risk of certain cancers by changing the way your immune system works. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had any type of cancer.
SERIOUS ALLERGIC REACTIONS: Serious allergic reactions can happen with KEVZARA. Get medical attention right away if you have any of the following signs: shortness of breath or trouble breathing; feeling dizzy or faint; swelling of your lips, tongue or face; moderate or severe stomach (abdominal) pain or vomiting; or chest pain.
Do not use KEVZARA if you are allergic to Sarilumab or any of the ingredients of KEVZARA.
Before using KEVZARA, tell your healthcare provider if you
- have an infection
- have liver problems
- have had stomach (abdominal) pain or a condition known as diverticulitis (inflammation in parts of the large intestine) or ulcers in your stomach or intestines
- recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine. People who take KEVZARA should not receive live vaccines
- plan to have surgery or a medical procedure
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if KEVZARA will harm your unborn baby
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you use KEVZARA. It is not known if KEVZARA passes into your breast milk
- take any prescription or nonprescription medicines, vitamins or herbal supplements. It is especially important to tell your healthcare provider if you use any other medicines to treat your RA. Using KEVZARA with these medicines may increase your risk of infection
- medicines that affect the way certain liver enzymes work. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one of these
The most common side effects include:
- injection site redness
- upper respiratory tract infection
- urinary tract infection
- nasal congestion, sore throat, and runny nose
These are not all the possible side effects of KEVZARA. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
WHAT IS KEVZARA?
KEVZARA is an injectable prescription medicine called an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor blocker. KEVZARA is used to treat adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after at least one other medicine called a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) has been used and did not work well or could not be tolerated. To learn more, talk about KEVZARA with your healthcare provider or pharmacist. The FDA-approved Medication Guide and Prescribing Information can be found below, or by calling 1-844-KEVZARA (1-844-538-92721-844-538-9272).
Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.
With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.
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