In the context of COVID-19 pandemic and growing tensions worldwide regarding healthcare facilities, there is an urgent need for effective treatments likely to reduce the crunch of ICU beds. Following the assumption by Mehta and colleagues who exhorted physicians to screen patients with severe COVID-19 for hyperinflammation and investigate immunomodulatory drugs in this setting, we relate our short-term - yet promising - experience regarding IL6 blockade with tocilizumab in 30 selected patients of less than 80 years of age, >5 days of prior disease duration, severe (i.e. requiring strictly over 6L/min of oxygen therapy) rapidly deteriorating (i.e. increase by more than 3L/min of oxygen flow within the previous 12 hours) COVID-19-related pneumonia. By comparison with a control group of patients (matched for age, gender and disease severity using the inverse probability of treatment weighted methodology) that did not receive tocilizumab. We demonstrate that, in highly selected patients, IL6 blockade could curb the "cytokine storm", prevent ICU admission and the requirement for mechanical ventilation. Notwithstanding the shortcomings of this retrospective small sample-size study, we believe that these preliminary findings support the fostering of research efforts in the fight against COVID-19-induced inflammation, especially before patients require admission to the ICU.