Clinical Trials Begin for Combination of Interferon Beta-1A and Remdesivir

  • COVID-19
  • Interferon beta

Randomized clinical trials have been started to evaluate a combination remdesivir (Gilead Sciences, Foster City, CA) plus interferon ß-1a for treatment of COVID-19. 

The Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 3 (ACTT 3; NCT04492475) is a third iteration of clinical trials to evaluate remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral, and will enroll more than 1,000 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 at 100 sites in the US. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is sponsoring the trial.

A preliminary analysis of ACTT 1 data showed participants who received remdesivir had a shorter recovery time vs those who received placebo. Interferon ß-1a is approved immunotherapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) with known antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Participants in the ACTT 3 study will be randomly assigned 1-to-1 ratio to receive either subcutaneous interferon ß-1a plus remdesivir or remdesivir plus placebo. Investigators will evaluate whether time to recovery is shorter in the combination therapy group relative to the remdesivir-only group. Recovery is defined as the participant being well enough for hospital discharge. Preliminary results of the study are expected in the fall of 2020.

All doses of interferon ß-1a in this trial are being donated by EMD Serono, a Merck company (Darmstadt, Germany) that produces and markets interferon ß-1a under the trade name Rebif. The company has also donated up to 300,000 doses for the European trials sponsored by the French INSERM institute (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale) and the World Health Organization (DisCoVery [NCT04315948] and SOLIDARITY).

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