China Approves Arthritis Drug For Coronavirus Treatment

An anti-inflammation drug, Actemra (tocilizumab), manufactured by the Swiss pharmaceutical company, Roche, has been approved by the Chinese government for the treatment of patients who are developing severe complications from coronavirus.

Actemra is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs.

Roche was quoted as saying that a third party has initiated the trial independently to explore the efficacy and safety of the drug in coronavirus patients with cytokine release syndrome (CRS).

According to the online portal, Pharmaceutical Technology, the latest development comes as China’s National Health Commission announced that it was searching for new ways to combat the deadly virus, which has so far killed 3,300 persons, alongside 96,414 infections in 84 countries and territories.

In its latest treatment guidelines published online, the Chinese commission said the biologic drug Actemra can now be used to treat coronavirus patients who have severe lung damage and high IL-6 levels.

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