Baricitinib in hospitalised patients with COVID-19: A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

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EClinicalMedicine. 2022 Jul;49:101489. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2022.101489. Epub 2022 Jun 3.


BACKGROUND: To date, only dexamethasone and tocilizumab have been shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19. Baricitinib is a Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitor with known anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. We performed a meta-analysis of RCTs assessing the role of baricitinib in hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

METHODS: Electronic databases such as MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central were searched up until March 31, 2022, for RCTs evaluating the efficacy of baricitinib in hospitalised patients with COVID-19. The outcomes assessed were 28-day mortality, progression to invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) or ECMO, progression to respiratory failure needing positive pressure ventilation, IMV or death, duration of hospitalisation and time to discharge. The meta-analysis was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42022314579).

FINDINGS: Four studies (with 10,815 patients) were included in the analysis. Pooled analysis using random-effects model showed a statistically significant reduction in 28-day mortality (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.50-0.94; p=0.04, I2=65%) and composite outcome of progression to severe disease needing positive pressure ventilation, IMV or death (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.80-0.99, p= 0.03, I2=0%). There was a favorable trend towards reduced progression to IMV or ECMO (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.58-1.01; p=0.06, I2=49%) in the baricitinib arm compared to standard therapy, even though it was not statistically significant. Statistical significance was achieved for all outcomes with fixed-effects model analysis.

INTERPRETATION: In hospitalised patients with COVID-19, baricitinib was associated with reduced 28-day mortality although there was not a statistically significant reduction in progression to IMV or ECMO. Baricitinib used in conjunction with standard of care treatments is associated with improved mortality in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 disease.


PMID:35677732 | PMC:PMC9163705 | DOI:10.1016/j.eclinm.2022.101489

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