Novartis arthritis drug fails to benefit COVID-19 patients

The Novartis arthritis drug Ilaris didn’t improve survival rates for COVID-19 patients or affect their death rate, the drugmaker said Nov. 6. 

Novartis CMO John Tsai, MD, said that while the drug didn’t show the benefit the company was hoping for, it helped to improve scientific understanding of COVID-19 and the role of similar drugs. 

“There’s still an urgent need for effective ways to combat COVID-19, and we will continue to apply our best scientific minds in support of the global pandemic response,” Dr. Tsai said. 

Novartis said it will submit the full results to a peer-reviewed journal soon. 

The trial results don’t affect any other trials for Ilaris, including those testing it for non-small cell lung cancer. 

Read the full news release here

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