HealthDay News — For hospitalized adults with COVID-19, baricitinib plus remdesivir is better for reducing recovery time and improving clinical status than remdesivir alone, according to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Andre C. Kalil, MD, MPH, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and colleagues conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial examining baricitinib plus remdesivir in hospitalized adults with COVID-19. A total of 1033 patients were randomly assigned: 515 were assigned to receive baricitinib plus remdesivir (combination treatment) and 518 to placebo plus remdesivir (control).

The researchers found that the median time to recovery was 7 and 8 days for combination treatment vs control (rate ratio for recovery, 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.32; P = 0.03). Patients receiving baricitinib had higher odds of improvement in clinical status at day 15 (odds ratio, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.0 to 1.6). For patients receiving high-flow oxygen or noninvasive ventilation at enrollment, the time to recovery was 10 and 18 days with combination treatment and control, respectively (rate ratio for recovery, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.10 to 2.08). The 28-day mortality was 5.1% and 7.8% in the combination and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio for death, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.39 to 1.09). Serious adverse events and new infections were less frequent in the combination vs control group.

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“Results of this study demonstrated baricitinib in combination with remdesivir provided a faster median recovery time and reduced progression to ventilation or death compared to remdesivir alone in hospitalized COVID-19 patients on oxygen,” Kalil said in a statement.

Gilead Sciences provided remdesivir and Eli Lilly provided baricitinib for use in this trial but neither provided any financial support.

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