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Baricitinib Significantly Reduces Death in Severe COVID-19

Baricitinib (Olumiant, Eli Lilly), an oral immunomodulatory agent usually used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), reduces mortality in hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19, according to latest results from the landmark RECOVERY trial. The results are published as a preprint. This once-daily treatment is seen as additive to existing treatments in severe COVID-19, notably dexamethasone and tocilizumab. "Adding baricitinib on top of other drugs [that also dampen down the over-active immune response], based on the best evidence to date, is beneficial," said Sir Martin Landray, professor of medicine and epidemiology, University of Oxford, and joint chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial. He pointed out that "we did not know that before today".

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