Date: 09-Mar-2020

China approves use of Roche arthritis drug for some coronavirus patients

China will use a Roche Holding AG arthritis drug to treat some coronavirus patients in severe condition, health authorities said on Wednesday (March 4), as the country seeks to build up treatment regimens to help the infected recover. As per the latest guidelines published by National Health Commission, “Tocilizumab, sold by the Swiss pharma giant under the trade name Actemra, can be prescribed to coronavirus patients showing serious lung damage and an elevated level of a protein called Interleukin 6, which could indicate inflammation or immunological diseases.” There is no clinical trial evidence yet that the drug will be effective on coronavirus patients, however. Actemra also has not received approval from China's National Medical Product Administration to be sold for use for coronavirus infections. Chinese researchers recently registered a three-month clinical trial for Actemra that would recruit 188 coronavirus patients.