Frequently asked questions
CAN-COVID is a Phase III, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of canakinumab plus standard of care (SoC) in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and cytokine release syndrome (CRS), compared with placebo plus SoC.
You can find more detailed information about CAN-COVID here.
CAN-COVID was initiated due to evidence of elevated interleukin (IL)-1β levels in patients with COVID-19-induced pneumonia and cytokine release syndrome (CRS). However, the results are consistent with the latest evidence suggesting that targeting interleukins (such as IL-1), which form part of the body’s overactive immune response, is not likely to be beneficial in patients with severe COVID-19.
The Phase III trial investigating canakinumab plus standard of care (SoC) did not meet its primary endpoint of a greater chance of patient survival without the need for invasive mechanical ventilation, or its key secondary endpoint of reduced COVID-19 mortality, compared with placebo plus SoC.
You will find more information in our CAN-COVID media release.
No new safety signals for canakinumab were identified. The safety profile of canakinumab plus standard of care (SoC) observed in the CAN-COVID trial was comparable to placebo plus SoC. canakinumab remains an effective treatment option for its approved indications, with a well-characterized safety profile, based on previously reported clinical trials and over 10 years of patient experience since its first approval in 2009.
We are continuing with the Phase III trial for ruxolitinib, another Novartis medicine, in collaboration with Incyte. Preliminary results from this trial are expected by year end. We are also investigating two medicines in early stage development focused on stopping or slowing the body’s overactive immune response to COVID-19, and we have announced a collaboration with Molecular Partners to develop two DARPin® therapies designed for potential use against COVID-19.