The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for baricitinib (Eli Lilly and Company) in combination with remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized adults and pediatric patients 2 years of age or older requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Baricitinib is a janus kinase inhibitor, which blocks the activity of 1 or more of a specific family of enzymes, interfering with the pathway that leads to inflammation. Baricitinib is a prescription oral tablet medication that is FDA-approved (and sold under the brand name Olumiant) for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis.
The EUA is supported by results of a clinical trial which showed that the combination of baricitinib and remdesivir reduced time to recovery within 29 days after initiating treatment compared to patients who received a placebo with remdesivir. Baricitinib is not authorized or approved as a stand-alone treatment for COVID-19.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Drug Combination for Treatment of COVID-19 [news release]. November 19, 2020. Available at: click here. Accessed November 23, 2020.