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Defining Potential Therapeutic Targets in Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a Single-Center Cohort

Arulkumaran, N; Snow, TAC; Kulkarni, A; Brealey, D; Rickman, H; Rees-Spear, C; Spyer, MJ; ... Singer, M; + view all (2021) Defining Potential Therapeutic Targets in Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a Single-Center Cohort. Critical Care Explorations , 3 (8) , Article e0488. 10.1097/cce.0000000000000488. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to explain disease severity in coronavirus disease 2019. Therapeutic approaches need to be underpinned by sound biological rationale. We evaluated whether serum levels of a range of proposed coronavirus disease 2019 therapeutic targets discriminated between patients with mild or severe disease. DESIGN: A search of ClinicalTrials.gov identified coronavirus disease 2019 immunological drug targets. We subsequently conducted a retrospective observational cohort study investigating the association of serum biomarkers within the first 5 days of hospital admission relating to putative therapeutic biomarkers with illness severity and outcome. SETTING: University College London, a tertiary academic medical center in the United Kingdom. PATIENTS: Patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Eighty-six patients were recruited, 44 (51%) with mild disease and 42 (49%) with severe disease. We measured levels of 10 cytokines/signaling proteins related to the most common therapeutic targets (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon-α2a, interferon-β, interferon-γ, interleukin-1β, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, interleukin-6, interleukin-7, interleukin-8, tumor necrosis factor-α), immunoglobulin G antibodies directed against either coronavirus disease 2019 spike protein or nucleocapsid protein, and neutralization titers of antibodies. Four-hundred seventy-seven randomized trials, including 168 different therapies against 83 different pathways, were identified. Six of the 10 markers (interleukin-6, interleukin-7, interleukin-8, interferon-α2a, interferon-β, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist) discriminated between patients with mild and severe disease, although most were similar or only modestly raised above that seen in healthy volunteers. A similar proportion of patients with mild or severe disease had detectable spike protein or nucleocapsid protein immunoglobulin G antibodies with equivalent levels between groups. Neutralization titers were higher among patients with severe disease. CONCLUSIONS: Some therapeutic and prognostic biomarkers may be useful in identifying coronavirus disease 2019 patients who may benefit from specific immunomodulatory therapies, particularly interleukin-6. However, biomarker absolute values often did not discriminate between patients with mild and severe disease or death, implying that these immunomodulatory treatments may be of limited benefit.

Type: Article
Title: Defining Potential Therapeutic Targets in Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a Single-Center Cohort
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/cce.0000000000000488
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1097/cce.0000000000000488
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Experimental and Translational Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133764
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