In this era of rapid spread of coronavirus, it has become a world-wide public health challenge. A severe pneumonia-associated respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) is due to activation of large number of T lymphocytes and mononuclear macrophages in patients, producing cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), which bind to the IL-6 receptor on the target cells, causing the cytokine storm and severe inflammatory responses in lungs and other tissues and organs.
About 25% of COVID-19 patients experienced severe complications including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and even progressed into an intensive care unit (ICU) admission and died. The exploration for the mortality causes and advancing novel therapeutic development of severe COVID-19 is crucial at the moment.
In this situation, Tocilizumab is ray of hope for clinicians. Tocilizumab, is a recombinant humanized anti-human IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, which can bind to the IL-6 receptor with high affinity, thus preventing IL-6 itself from binding to its receptor, rendering it incapable of immune damage to target cells, and alleviating the inflammatory responses.
Tocilizumab treatment showed inspiring clinical results including temperature returned to normal quickly and respiratory function improved.
Tocilizumab is an effective treatment in severe patients of COVID-19 to calm the inflammatory storm and reduce mortality.
Author Priti J. Mehta