#MSCOVID19 Cladribine


Whilst we are surely bored with case reports of people infected with COVID-19, the registries contain a few more cases, but companies also have monitor adverse events associated in people taking their drugs.

I think that Roche have to be congratulated for being quick off the block to report cases of ocrelzumab infected people. They reported the outcomes in 100 people and 26% of the those reported as COVID-19 were hospitalized. Now the number in part reflects the common used of this agent by people with MS.

Here they report on the cases of COVID-19 occurring in MS patients treated with cladribine tablets within the Merck KGaA Global Patient Safety Database. While such voluntary pharmacovigilance data might be incomplete, they can provide an additional level of detail on individual drugs to the information emerging from the national and international registries for COVID-19 occurring in patients with MS.

As of 29 June, approximately 19,000 patients with relapsing MS have been treated with cladribine tablets. On this date, there were 46 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within the safety database. Patient age was available for 35 patients, with a range of 22–67 years. There were 26 females, 12 males, and 8 patients for whom gender was not reported. Cases were defined as confirmed if a confirmatory diagnostic test was reported as positive.

Of the 46 total cases, 18 cases were confirmed . In 3 cases, confirmation included a report of a positive immunoglobulin G test at a time after COVID-19 symptom onset. Four (22%) of the confirmed cases were classified as serious (as hospitalization was required in 3 cases and the physician reported 1 case classified as “medically significant”).

Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Patients Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 — COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1–30, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e3.htm#F1_down Weekly / April 17, 2020 / 69(15);458–464

The majority of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 had mild to moderate respiratory symptoms. Two confirmed cases had not reported experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. None of the cases (either suspected or confirmed) received mechanical ventilation and there were no deaths.

COI: Multiple 

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  • This is really good news in the main. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has impacted my treatment with this drug. One more week for year 2 and my lymphocytes are just too low to take it, not recovering. I don’t know what this will mean if they don’t increase enough before 6 months in terms of long term treatment efficacy because the protocol will not have been followed.

  • curious to know what happened to patients infected with covid after – did they experience new relapses? did their ms worsen? Or did it have no long term impact on their ms?

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