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Harmful association of glucocorticoids in interferon beta-1a treated patients

Harmful association of glucocorticoids in interferon beta-1a treated patients

21 May, 2020

A study by Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy has shown that the desired mechanism of action of IV IFN beta-1a in the lung vasculature, the upregulation of CD73, is blocked by the administration of glucocorticoids.

Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, has announced the results of its detailed analyses into the effects of glucocorticoids on intravenous (IV) interferon (IFN) beta-1a activity, which arose following the INTEREST trial in 2018 and have been published in the Intensive Care Medicine journal. According to the company, the results have shown that the desired mechanism of action of IV IFN beta-1a in the lung vasculature, the upregulation of CD73, is blocked by the administration of glucocorticoids. In addition, the administration of glucocorticoids with IV IFN beta-1a is reported to increase mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) compared with patients administered with IV IFN beta-1a alone. Faron said the analysis from the INTEREST trial showed that the Day-28 mortality for patients receiving concomitant glucocorticoids with IV IFN beta-1a was 39.7% compared to 10.6% for patients receiving IV IFN beta-1a alone (p < 0.001).

Dr Markku Jalkanen, CEO, Faron, said the publication of these results are crucial and especially important in these times when ICUs are filled with Covid-19 patients, many of whom may be receiving treatment with glucocorticoids. “Prior clinical data have shown that glucocorticoids are harmful in viral-induced ARDS and the World Health Organisation has already recommended not to use glucocorticoids in severely ill Covid-19 patients. These published and peer-reviewed data give us the mechanistic reason why and the results are without dispute. The potential lung protective effects of interferon beta through upregulation of CD73, should it be endogenous or exogenous, are lost with the administration of glucocorticoids”, he said.

Faron has also recently announced that its investigational IV IFN beta-1a (Traumakine) is being trialled in two global studies investigating potential Covid-19 treatments; the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity study, involving over 90 countries, and the global REMAP-CAP trial (Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia) underway across close to 200 sites in 14 countries.