Imatinib provides durable clinical benefit in patients with hypoxemic COVID-19



SchippersJ, et al. D17: Top knowledge on COVID. Presented at: American Thoracic Society International Conference; May 13-18, 2022; San Francisco (hybrid meeting).

Disclosures: Schippers does not report any relevant financial information.

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SAN FRANCISCO — Treatment with imatinib resulted in sustained clinical benefit after 90 days in hospitalized patients with hypoxemic COVID-19, according to results from the CounterCOVID study.

At the American Thoracic Society International Conference, Job R. Schippers, MD-PhD candidate in Pulmonary Medicine at Amsterdam University Medical Center, presented long-term clinical results at 90 days after treatment with imatinib.

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Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is currently being used as an oncology drug to block an abnormal protein that signals cancer cells, according to an ATS press release.

“Imatinib was considered a treatment option when it became apparent that patients with severe COVID-19 had CT scan abnormalities suggestive of pulmonary edema… as a result of vascular leakage,” Schippers said in the press release.

Results from a recent clinical trial demonstrated a benefit of imatinib treatment over a 28-day follow-up in patients with hypoxemic COVID-19, with the greatest improvement in critically ill patients, the researchers said.

Researchers assessed longer-term clinical outcomes in 385 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Patients were randomly assigned to imatinib (n=197) or placebo (n=188) for 10 days. Long-term outcomes included 90-day mortality, duration of invasive ventilation, ventilator-free days, duration of ICU admission, duration of hospitalization, and ventilator parameters.

At 90 days, 9.1% of patients who received imatinib and 16.5% of patients who received placebo died (HR=0.53; 95% CI, 0.29-0.94; P = .03), according to the abstract. This result remained significant after researchers adjusted for baseline imbalances, including gender, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (HR=0.52; 95% CI, 0.28-0.99 ; P = .045), according to the summary.

The median number of ventilator-free days was 84 for ICU patients who received imatinib, compared with 64 days for those who received a placebo (P= 0.036) and the median duration of invasive ventilation was 7 days versus 12 days, respectively (P= .026), according to the summary.

The mean length of ICU stay was 9 days in the imatinib group versus 15 days in the placebo group (P= 0.098) and mean hospital stay was 7 days versus 6.5 days, respectively (P= .66).

Patients who were intubated and treated with imatinib had a significantly better longitudinal course of FiO2 (P

According to the researchers, the clinical benefit observed at 90 days could be explained by the improvement in oxygenation parameters.


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