The combination of baricitinib, an anti-inflammatory drug, and remdesivir, an antiviral, reduced time to recovery for people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to clinical trial results published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study was supported by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Researchers conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating baricitinib plus remdesivir in hospitalized adults with COVID-19. All the patients received remdesivir and either baricitinib or placebo.
A total of 1,033 patients participated in the trail, with 515 assigned to combination treatment, and 518 to control group.
Results show the combination of baricitinib and remdesivir reduced median time to recovery in hospitalized COVID-19 patients from eight days to seven days, reports Xinhua news agency.
Patients who required high-flow oxygen or non-invasive ventilation during their hospitalization appeared to have had the largest benefit, as their median time to recovery was shortened from 18 days to 10 days.
In addition, participants' conditions at day 15 of the study was significantly improved when they received the two therapeutics combined. Recipients of the two treatments also had slightly fewer serious adverse effects, according to the study.
These results do appear to show that baricitinib plus remdesivir can benefit some COVID-19 patients and the combination deserves further clinical study, according to the researchers.