Intravenous Immunoglobulin Beneficial for Severe COVID-19

October 21, 2020
Kevin Kunzmann

Phase 1 data and a history of benefit for worsening respiratory infections show promise for the therapy.

New data from a small, randomized, open-label assessment show a particular group of patients with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) at risk of ventilation needs benefit significantly from intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) versus standard care.

The San Diego-based research, presented at IDWeek 2020, showed 3 times daily IVIG plus pre-infusion solumedrol 40 mg resulted in significant decreases in patient rates of progression to mechanical ventilation, length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and total hospital length stay.

As investigators progress through a phase 3 prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter study to confirm these promising findings, study author and IDWeek presenter George Sakoulas, MD, Associate Professor at University of California San Diego, spoke with Contagion® on his own experience in using IVIG in pneumonia, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

Such successes led to its suggested use in a severely ill patient with COVID-19 in late March.

“We gave it 3 consecutive days, and the patient went from high oxygen requirements with a fever on Tuesday, to home on room air on a Friday,” Sakoulas said. “So, it was pretty dramatic.”

Sakoulas also discussed the phase 1 and phase 3 trial makeups, and what specific needs IVIG could potentially play in treated patients with COVID-19.

Listen to the full interview with Langley in the video above.

The poster, “Use of Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy Reduces Progression to Mechanical Ventilation in COVID‑19 Patients with Moderate to Severe Hypoxia,” was presented at IDWeek 2020.