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      Lenzilumab in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (LIVE-AIR): a phase 3, randomised, placebo-controlled trial

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          Abstract

          Background

          The pathophysiology of COVID-19 includes immune-mediated hyperinflammation, which could potentially lead to respiratory failure and death. Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is among cytokines that contribute to the inflammatory processes. Lenzilumab, a GM-CSF neutralising monoclonal antibody, was investigated in the LIVE-AIR trial to assess its efficacy and safety in treating COVID-19 beyond available treatments.

          Methods

          In LIVE-AIR, a phase 3, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, hospitalised adult patients with COVID-19 pneumonia not requiring invasive mechanical ventilation were recruited from 29 sites in the USA and Brazil and were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive three intravenous doses of lenzilumab (600 mg per dose) or placebo delivered 8 h apart. All patients received standard supportive care, including the use of remdesivir and corticosteroids. Patients were stratified at randomisation by age and disease severity. The primary endpoint was survival without invasive mechanical ventilation to day 28 in the modified intention-to-treat population (mITT), comprising all randomised participants who received at least one dose of study drug under the documented supervision of the principal investigator or sub-investigator. Adverse events were assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04351152, and is completed.

          Findings

          Patients were enrolled from May 5, 2020, until Jan 27, 2021. 528 patients were screened, of whom 520 were randomly assigned and included in the intention-to-treat population. 479 of these patients (n=236, lenzilumab; n=243, placebo) were included in the mITT analysis for the primary outcome. Baseline demographics were similar between groups. 311 (65%) participants were males, mean age was 61 (SD 14) years at baseline, and median C-reactive protein concentration was 79 (IQR 41–137) mg/L. Steroids were administered to 449 (94%) patients and remdesivir to 347 (72%) patients; 331 (69%) patients received both treatments. Survival without invasive mechanical ventilation to day 28 was achieved in 198 (84%; 95% CI 79–89) participants in the lenzilumab group and in 190 (78%; 72–83) patients in the placebo group, and the likelihood of survival was greater with lenzilumab than placebo (hazard ratio 1·54; 95% CI 1·02–2·32; p=0·040). 68 (27%) of 255 patients in the lenzilumab group and 84 (33%) of 257 patients in the placebo group experienced at least one adverse event that was at least grade 3 in severity based on CTCAE criteria. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events of grade 3 or higher were related to respiratory disorders (26%) and cardiac disorders (6%) and none led to death.

          Interpretation

          Lenzilumab significantly improved survival without invasive mechanical ventilation in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, with a safety profile similar to that of placebo. The added value of lenzilumab beyond other immunomodulators used to treat COVID-19 alongside steroids remains unknown.

          Funding

          Humanigen.

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          Most cited references25

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          Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19 — Preliminary Report

          Abstract Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is associated with diffuse lung damage. Glucocorticoids may modulate inflammation-mediated lung injury and thereby reduce progression to respiratory failure and death. Methods In this controlled, open-label trial comparing a range of possible treatments in patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned patients to receive oral or intravenous dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg once daily) for up to 10 days or to receive usual care alone. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Here, we report the preliminary results of this comparison. Results A total of 2104 patients were assigned to receive dexamethasone and 4321 to receive usual care. Overall, 482 patients (22.9%) in the dexamethasone group and 1110 patients (25.7%) in the usual care group died within 28 days after randomization (age-adjusted rate ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 0.93; P<0.001). The proportional and absolute between-group differences in mortality varied considerably according to the level of respiratory support that the patients were receiving at the time of randomization. In the dexamethasone group, the incidence of death was lower than that in the usual care group among patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (29.3% vs. 41.4%; rate ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.81) and among those receiving oxygen without invasive mechanical ventilation (23.3% vs. 26.2%; rate ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.94) but not among those who were receiving no respiratory support at randomization (17.8% vs. 14.0%; rate ratio, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.55). Conclusions In patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support. (Funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936; ISRCTN number, 50189673.)
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            Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Final Report

            Abstract Background Although several therapeutic agents have been evaluated for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), none have yet been shown to be efficacious. Methods We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous remdesivir in adults hospitalized with Covid-19 with evidence of lower respiratory tract involvement. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either remdesivir (200 mg loading dose on day 1, followed by 100 mg daily for up to 9 additional days) or placebo for up to 10 days. The primary outcome was the time to recovery, defined by either discharge from the hospital or hospitalization for infection-control purposes only. Results A total of 1063 patients underwent randomization. The data and safety monitoring board recommended early unblinding of the results on the basis of findings from an analysis that showed shortened time to recovery in the remdesivir group. Preliminary results from the 1059 patients (538 assigned to remdesivir and 521 to placebo) with data available after randomization indicated that those who received remdesivir had a median recovery time of 11 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 9 to 12), as compared with 15 days (95% CI, 13 to 19) in those who received placebo (rate ratio for recovery, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.55; P<0.001). The Kaplan-Meier estimates of mortality by 14 days were 7.1% with remdesivir and 11.9% with placebo (hazard ratio for death, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.04). Serious adverse events were reported for 114 of the 541 patients in the remdesivir group who underwent randomization (21.1%) and 141 of the 522 patients in the placebo group who underwent randomization (27.0%). Conclusions Remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults hospitalized with Covid-19 and evidence of lower respiratory tract infection. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; ACTT-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04280705.)
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              Interleukin-6 Receptor Antagonists in Critically Ill Patients with Covid-19

              (2021)
              Abstract Background The efficacy of interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is unclear. Methods We evaluated tocilizumab and sarilumab in an ongoing international, multifactorial, adaptive platform trial. Adult patients with Covid-19, within 24 hours after starting organ support in the intensive care unit (ICU), were randomly assigned to receive tocilizumab (8 mg per kilogram of body weight), sarilumab (400 mg), or standard care (control). The primary outcome was respiratory and cardiovascular organ support–free days, on an ordinal scale combining in-hospital death (assigned a value of −1) and days free of organ support to day 21. The trial uses a Bayesian statistical model with predefined criteria for superiority, efficacy, equivalence, or futility. An odds ratio greater than 1 represented improved survival, more organ support–free days, or both. Results Both tocilizumab and sarilumab met the predefined criteria for efficacy. At that time, 353 patients had been assigned to tocilizumab, 48 to sarilumab, and 402 to control. The median number of organ support–free days was 10 (interquartile range, −1 to 16) in the tocilizumab group, 11 (interquartile range, 0 to 16) in the sarilumab group, and 0 (interquartile range, −1 to 15) in the control group. The median adjusted cumulative odds ratios were 1.64 (95% credible interval, 1.25 to 2.14) for tocilizumab and 1.76 (95% credible interval, 1.17 to 2.91) for sarilumab as compared with control, yielding posterior probabilities of superiority to control of more than 99.9% and of 99.5%, respectively. An analysis of 90-day survival showed improved survival in the pooled interleukin-6 receptor antagonist groups, yielding a hazard ratio for the comparison with the control group of 1.61 (95% credible interval, 1.25 to 2.08) and a posterior probability of superiority of more than 99.9%. All secondary analyses supported efficacy of these interleukin-6 receptor antagonists. Conclusions In critically ill patients with Covid-19 receiving organ support in ICUs, treatment with the interleukin-6 receptor antagonists tocilizumab and sarilumab improved outcomes, including survival. (REMAP-CAP ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02735707.)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Lancet Respir Med
                Lancet Respir Med
                The Lancet. Respiratory Medicine
                Elsevier Ltd.
                2213-2600
                2213-2619
                1 December 2021
                1 December 2021
                Affiliations
                [a ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
                [b ]Department of Molecular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
                [c ]Mayo Clinic, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, Jacksonville, FL, USA
                [d ]Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, Minneapolis, MN, USA
                [e ]Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC, USA
                [f ]Mayo Clinic, Division of Infectious Diseases, Jacksonville, FL, USA
                [g ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA
                [h ]Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GA, USA
                [i ]Rollins School of Public Health and Emory Vaccine Center, Atlanta, GA, USA
                [j ]Mayo Clinic Arizona, Division of Infectious Diseases, Phoenix, AZ, USA
                [k ]BioSymetrics, New York, NY, USA
                [l ]CTI, Clinical Trial Services, Covington, KY, USA
                [m ]Humanigen, Burlingame, CA, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Dr Zelalem Temesgen, Mayo Clinic, SW Rochester, MN 55901, USA
                [*]

                LIVE-AIR Study Group members listed in the appendix

                Article
                S2213-2600(21)00494-X
                10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00494-X
                8635458
                34863332
                07f767de-2efb-432a-be32-14427d469511
                © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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