Clin Transl Immunology. 2020 Nov 25;9(11):e1218. doi: 10.1002/cti2.1218. eCollection 2020.
OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 can lead to a hyperinflammatory state. CD6 is a glycoprotein expressed on mature T lymphocytes which is a crucial regulator of the T-cell activation. Itolizumab is a humanised antibody targeting CD6. Nonclinical and clinical data in autoimmune diseases indicate that it lowers multiple cytokines primarily involving the Th1/Th17 pathway. The primary objective of this study was to assess the impact of itolizumab in arresting the lung function deterioration of COVID-19 patients. Secondary objectives included safety, duration of ventilation, 14-day mortality and evaluation of interleukin 6 concentration.
METHODS: Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 received itolizumab in combination with other therapies included in the national protocol for COVID-19.
RESULTS: Seventy critical, severe or moderate patients were treated with itolizumab in 10 Cuban hospitals. Median age was 68, and 94% had comorbidities. After 72 h, most patients improved the PO2/FiO2 ratio and reduced FiO2 requirements. Ventilation time was 8 days for critical and 1 day for severe cases. Ten patients had related adverse events while 3 subjects developed related serious events. In 30 patients, interleukin 6 decreased in individuals with high level and did not change in those with lower concentration. Fourteen-day lethality rate was 4% and 18% for moderate and severe patients, respectively. The proportion of moderate or severe patients with ventilation or death at day 14 was 9.8%. Time to treatment, neurological manifestations and biomarkers such as NLR were significantly associated with higher lethality.
CONCLUSIONS: The opportune administration of itolizumab might interrupt the hyperinflammatory cascade and prevent COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.