METHODS: In the randomized, double-blind, time-to-event, phase 3 PREVENT trial, 143 adults received eculizumab (maintenance dose, 1200 mg/2 weeks) or placebo (2:1), with stable-dose concomitant immunosuppressive therapy (IST) permitted (except rituximab and mitoxantrone). Post hoc analyses of relapses and adverse events were performed for prespecified and post hoc subgroups based on concomitant IST and prior rituximab use, demographic and disease characteristics, and autoimmune comorbidity.
RESULTS: The significant reduction in relapse risk observed for eculizumab versus placebo in the overall PREVENT population was consistently maintained across subgroups based on concomitant IST and previous rituximab use, age, sex, region, race, time since clinical onset of NMOSD, historical annualized relapse rate, baseline Expanded Disability Status Scale score, and history of another autoimmune disorder. The serious infection rate was lower with eculizumab than placebo regardless of rituximab use in the previous year, concomitant IST use, or history of another autoimmune disorder.
CONCLUSION: Across a wide range of clinically relevant AQP4+ NMOSD patient subgroups in PREVENT, eculizumab therapy was consistently effective versus placebo in reducing relapse risk, with no apparent increase in serious infection rate.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01892345 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
RECENT FINDINGS: The biologicals that have been currently approved for asthma are omalizumab targeting IgE and reslizumab and mepolizumab targeting interleukin (IL)-5. Many other monoclonal antibodies are currently in various phases of clinical development. The new biological therapies for allergic diseases will eventually be tailored to the endotypes of these diseases and the identification of novel biomarkers. Further development of novel biologicals for the treatment of allergic diseases and asthma will be possible upon improved understanding of mechanisms of allergic diseases. Accordingly, further refinement of endotypes of allergen-specific and non-specific type 2 immune response and related inflammatory mediators is needed for optimal treatment of allergic diseases.
METHODS: We systematically searched PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Google Scholar, and medRxiv (preprint repository) databases (up to 7 January 2021). Pooled effect sizes with 95% confidence interval (CI) were generated using random-effects and inverse variance heterogeneity models. The risk of bias of the included RCTs was appraised using version 2 of the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials.
RESULTS: Six RCTs were included: two trials with an overall low risk of bias and four trials had some concerns regarding the overall risk of bias. Our meta-analysis did not find significant mortality benefits with the use of tocilizumab among patients with COVID-19 relative to non-use of tocilizumab (pooled hazard ratio = 0.83; 95% CI 0.66-1.05, n = 2,057). Interestingly, the estimated effect of tocilizumab on the composite endpoint of requirement for mechanical ventilation and/or all-cause mortality indicated clinical benefits, with some evidence against our model hypothesis of no significant effect at the current sample size (pooled hazard ratio = 0.62; 95% CI 0.42-0.91, n = 749).
CONCLUSION: Despite no clear mortality benefits in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, tocilizumab appears to reduce the likelihood of progression to mechanical ventilation.