Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 has devasted the healthcare delivery system as well as social establishments of almost all countries of the world. However, vaccines for containing new cases of COVID-19 are yet to be realized. Also, presently available antiviral drugs and other standard of care (SOC) management strategies could not satisfactorily control COVID-19-related mortality, which has crossed the one million mark during the last 9 months. These facts present an emergent need for developing new, novel, and evolving therapeutic strategies for the management of COVID-19.
Aim and objective: This cohort study represents a clinical trial in real-life situations in Bangladesh where two immune modulators were applied in patients with severe and critical COVID-19 patients.
Materials and methods: A total of 199 confirmed patients of COVID-19 were enrolled in this study. All of them had severe and critical COVID-19 and they were hospitalized at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka, Bangladesh. All patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the nasal swab and they were endowed with severe pneumonia, multiple organ dysfunctions, and coagulopathy. The median percentage of lung involvement was 65%. The mean oxygen saturation was 83%. The patients received two immune modulators (tocilizumab and bevacizumab) in different combinations to retrieve broader insights about the safety and efficacy of immune modulators in COVID-19 management.
Results: Out of the total 199 patients, 122 survived and 77 expired. A single dose of tocilizumab resulted in the survival of 71.5% (73 of 102 COVID-19 patients). On the other hand, a dramatic survival benefit was found in patients receiving bevacizumab (92%).
Conclusion: The study indicates that active treatment should be started as early as possible for COVID-19 patients as moderate COVID-patients may progress to more severe illnesses with grave consequences. The safety of two immune modulators has been recorded in this cohort of severe and critical COVID-19 patients. In order to have a proper use of these immune modulators, there is a need to accomplish controlled, blinded, and large-scale prospective studies with at least two arms.