January 23, 2021

Background: One of the many massive challenges of the COVID19 pandemic has been the lack of targeted therapeutics. Extensive efforts have been invested into research with only glimmers of benefit for most drugs. The exception to this has been dexamethasone which was shown in the RECOVERY trial to have remarkable impacts on death in patients requiring O2 (NNT = 29) and in those requiring invasive ventilation (NNT = 8.5). A number of other drugs showed promise in observation and retrospective studies (HCQ, convalescent plasma) only to prove ineffective in well-done RCTs. Others (i.e. remdesivir) have shown inconsistent results at best. 

Monoclonal antibody infusions have gained national attention as a potential therapeutic. This drug class works by binding to domains on SARS-CoV2 spike protein blocking its ability to bind to ACE2 receptors on cells and thus stopping cellular invasion. Previously, we reviewed the interim analysis of BLAZE-1 which demonstrated a small reduction in viral load with one of the three studied doses. However, this difference fell below the author’s preset threshold, raised questions of biological plausibility and found no difference in any clinically meaningful outcome. Additionally, we recently reviewed the REGN-CoV2 antibody cocktail data which also failed to demonstrate any meaningful benefits. Today, we dive into the full BLAZE-1 data as the study has been completed.

December 4, 2020

Background: Throughout the COVID19 pandemic, massive efforts have been invested on the research of effective therapeutics.  Much of the research looks at repurposing older treatments (i.e. antimalarial drugs, antiviral agents, interleukin blockers and convalescent plasma therapy).  There have been no large randomized, controlled trials of targeted treatments specific to SARS-CoV-2. LY-CoV555 is an anti-spike protein neutralizing monoclonal antibody that binds with high affinity to the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. Its role in treatment of COVID19 is unclear.