Bruen C, Al-Saadi M, Michelson EA, Tanios M, Mendoza-Ayala R, Miller J, Zhang J, Stauderman K, Hebbar S, and Hou PC. Auxora vs. placebo for the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia: a randomized-controlled clinical trial. Crit Care 2022; 26(1):101.
Critical care (London, England)
BACKGROUND: Calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel inhibitors block proinflammatory cytokine release, preserve endothelial integrity and may effectively treat patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.
METHODS: CARDEA was a phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the addition of Auxora, a CRAC channel inhibitor, to corticosteroids and standard of care in adults with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Eligible patients were adults with ≥ 1 symptom consistent with COVID-19 infection, a diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory testing using polymerase chain reaction or other assay, and pneumonia documented by chest imaging. Patients were also required to be receiving oxygen therapy using either a high flow or low flow nasal cannula at the time of enrolment and have at the time of enrollment a baseline imputed PaO(2)/FiO(2) ratio > 75 and ≤ 300. The PaO(2)/FiO(2) was imputed from a SpO(2)/FiO(2) determine by pulse oximetry using a non-linear equation. Patients could not be receiving either non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation at the time of enrolment. The primary endpoint was time to recovery through Day 60, with secondary endpoints of all-cause mortality at Day 60 and Day 30. Due to declining rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and utilization of standard of care medications prohibited by regulatory guidance, the trial was stopped early.
RESULTS: The pre-specified efficacy set consisted of the 261 patients with a baseline imputed PaO(2)/FiO(2)≤ 200 with 130 and 131 in the Auxora and placebo groups, respectively. Time to recovery was 7 vs. 10 days (P = 0.0979) for patients who received Auxora vs. placebo, respectively. The all-cause mortality rate at Day 60 was 13.8% with Auxora vs. 20.6% with placebo (P = 0.1449); Day 30 all-cause mortality was 7.7% and 17.6%, respectively (P = 0.0165). Similar trends were noted in all randomized patients, patients on high flow nasal cannula at baseline or those with a baseline imputed PaO(2)/FiO(2) ≤ 100. Serious adverse events (SAEs) were less frequent in patients treated with Auxora vs. placebo and occurred in 34 patients (24.1%) receiving Auxora and 49 (35.0%) receiving placebo (P = 0.0616). The most common SAEs were respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and pneumonia.
CONCLUSIONS: Auxora was safe and well tolerated with strong signals in both time to recovery and all-cause mortality through Day 60 in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Further studies of Auxora in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia are warranted. Trial registration NCT04345614.
Medical Subject Headings
Adult; Benzamides; COVID-19; Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels; Humans; Pyrazines; Respiration, Artificial; Respiratory Distress Syndrome; SARS-CoV-2; Treatment Outcome