COVID-19 Evidence Alerts
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Current best evidence for clinical care (more info)

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Treatment Gunst JD, Staerke NB, Pahus MH, et al. Efficacy of the TMPRSS2 inhibitor camostat mesilate in patients hospitalized with Covid-19-a double-blind randomized controlled trial. EClinicalMedicine. 2021 May;35:100849. doi: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.100849. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Background: The trans-membrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) is essential for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cell entry and infection. Efficacy and safety of TMPRSS2 inhibitors in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have not been evaluated in randomized trials.

Methods: We conducted an investigator-initiated, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter trial in patients hospitalized with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from April 4, to December 31, 2020. Within 48 h of admission, participants were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive the TMPRSS2 inhibitor camostat mesilate 200 mg three times daily for 5 days or placebo. The primary outcome was time to discharge or clinical improvement measured as =2 points improvement on a 7-point ordinal scale. Other outcomes included 30-day mortality, safety and change in oropharyngeal viral load.

Findings: 137 patients were assigned to receive camostat mesilate and 68 to placebo. Median time to clinical improvement was 5 days (interquartile range [IQR], 3 to 7) in the camostat group and 5 days (IQR, 2 to 10) in the placebo group (P = 0·31). The hazard ratio for 30-day mortality in the camostat compared with the placebo group was 0·82 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0·24 to 2·79; P = 0·75). The frequency of adverse events was similar in the two groups. Median change in viral load from baseline to day 5 in the camostat group was -0·22 log10 copies/mL (p <0·05) and -0·82 log10 in the placebo group (P <0·05).

Interpretation: Under this protocol, camostat mesilate treatment was not associated with increased adverse events during hospitalization for Covid-19 and did not affect time to clinical improvement, progression to ICU admission or mortality. Identifier: NCT04321096. EudraCT Number: 2020-001200-42.

Discipline / Specialty Area Score
Infectious Disease
Hospital Doctor/Hospitalists
Internal Medicine
Comments from MORE raters

Hospital Doctor/Hospitalists rater

Another RCT that fails in the interference of earty phases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, this time targeting TMPRSS2, a cell membrane protein involved in SARS-CoV-2 cell entry.

Infectious Disease rater

Among many under investigations, the drug tested here failed to show any positive clinical impact in patients infected with SARS CoV 2. With an unimpressive outcome, it does not matter if the readers are aware or unaware of this paper.