Objective: SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2)-related pneumonia, referred to as COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 19), is a public health emergency as it carries high morbidity, mortality, and has no approved specific pharmacological treatments. In this case series, we aimed to report preliminary data obtained with anti-complement C5 therapy with eculizumab in COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) of ASL Napoli 2 Nord.
Patients and methods: This is a case series of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV2 infection and severe pneumonia or ARDS who were treated with up to 4 infusions of eculizumab as an off-label agent. Patients were also treated with anticoagulant therapy with Enoxaparin 4000 IU/day via subcutaneous injection, antiviral therapy with Lopinavir 800 mg/day + Ritonavir 200 mg/day, hydroxychloroquine 400 mg/day, ceftriaxone 2 g/day IV, vitamine C 6 g/day for 4 days, and were on Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV).
Results: We treated four COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit because of severe pneumonia or ARDS. All patients successfully recovered after treatment with eculizumab. Eculizumab induced a drop in inflammatory markers. Mean C Reactive Protein levels dropped from 14.6 mg/dl to 3.5 mg/dl and the mean duration of the disease was 12.8 days.
Conclusions: Eculizumab has the potential to be a key player in treatment of severe cases of COVID-19. Our results support eculizumab use as an off-label treatment of COVID-19, pending confirmation from the ongoing SOLID-C19 trial.