Sanofi says Kevzara drug fails as possible COVID-19 treatment

PARIS (Reuters) - French drugmaker Sanofi said on Tuesday that its rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara - which it produces with partner Regeneron - had failed as a possible COVID-19 treatment and would be dropped for studies in this field.

Sanofi and Regeneron do not anticipate conducting further clinical studies for Kevzara in COVID-19, Sanofi added, after the latest set of trials in patients across the world showed adverse effects.

Previous trials had shown that the drug did not help patients with less severe COVID-19, the companies had said in July.

"Although this trial did not yield the results we hoped for, we are proud of the work that was achieved by the team to further our understanding of the potential use of Kevzara for the treatment of COVID-19," said Sanofi's Global Head of Research and Development John Reed.

"At Sanofi, we are committed to help combat the global COVID-19 pandemic, including developing vaccine candidates that can be manufactured at large scale," he added.

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Last month, Sanofi's Chief Executive Paul Hudson said Sanofi's confidence in its coronavirus vaccine candidates had increased over the summer as the French drugmaker prepares to start clinical trials.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coghill)

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