HealthDay News — For hospitalized adults with COVID-19, time to recovery was not shorter for treatment with interferon beta-1a plus remdesivir compared with remdesivir alone, according to a study published online October 18 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
Andre C. Kalil, MD, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and colleagues randomly assigned patients with COVID-19 at 63 hospitals across 5 countries to receive intravenous remdesivir and up to 4 doses of either interferon beta-1a or placebo administered subcutaneously every other day (487 and 482 patients, respectively).
The researchers found that participants in both groups had a time to recovery of 5 days (rate ratio for interferon beta-1a plus remdesivir vs placebo plus remdesivir, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.13; P =.88). At 28 days, the Kaplan-Meier estimate of mortality was 5 and 3% in the interferon beta-1a plus remdesivir and placebo plus remdesivir groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.69 to 2.55; P =.39). Patients who did not require high-flow oxygen at baseline more often had at least one related adverse event in the interferon beta-1a plus remdesivir group (7 vs 3%). Among patients who required high-flow oxygen at baseline, adverse events and serious adverse events, respectively, occurred more often in the interferon beta-1a plus remdesivir group (69 and 60%) vs the placebo plus remdesivir group (39 and 24%).
“Given the absence of benefit, subcutaneous interferon beta-1a treatment is not advised for patients hospitalized with COVID-19,” the authors write.
Gilead Sciences provided remdesivir for use in the trial but did not provide financial support. EMD Serono provided interferon beta-1a and matching placebo for use in the trial but did not provide financial support.