ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a pandemic with major implications across the world. One of the most frequent causes of death from SARS-CoV-2 is fatal pneumonia from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is associated with the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). To date (as of April 2, 2020), other than supportive measures, there are no efficient therapeutic options for COVID-19–related ARDS, although the US Food and Drug Administration recently granted emergency authorization for the use of hydroxychoroquine/chloroquine for this indication (which is usually given with azithromycin). Although the pathogenesis for ARDS is under investigation, one of the major culprits is considered to be cytokine storm, especially from interleukin 6 (IL-6) release. Herein, we review potential use of IL-6 inhibitors, several of which are approved for other disease conditions, as potential novel treatment for the management of COVID-19–related ARDS.

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Competing Interests

Source of Support: None. Conflict of Interest: Shumei Kato serves as a consultant for Foundation Medicine and receives speaker's fees from Roche. Razelle Kurzrock has the following disclosure information: Stock and other equity interests (IDbyDNA, CureMatch, Inc, and Soluventis); consulting or advisory role (Gaido, LOXO, X-Biotech, Actuate Therapeutics, Roche, NeoMed, Soluventis, Pfizer, and Merck); speaker's fee (Roche); research funding (Incyte, Genentech, Merck Serono, Pfizer, Sequenom, Foundation Medicine, Guardant Health, Grifols, Konica Minolta, DeBiopharm, Boerhringer Ingelheim, and OmniSeq [all institutional]); Board member (CureMatch, Inc, and CureMetrix, Inc).