Published time: 03 April 2020
Authors: Ennio G Favalli, Martina Biggioggero, Gabriella Maioli, Roberto Caporali
Keywords: COVID-19, Epidemics
As rheumatologists used to treating rheumatoid arthritis with Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors and working in an area (Lombardy, Italy) with a high incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we read with great interest the Comment in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by Justin Stebbing and colleagues about the potential use of baricitinib for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The described mechanism affecting viral endocytosis mediated by two members of the numb-associated kinase family is one of the many unfamiliar effects of a relatively recent drug class, the real safety profile of which still remains to be definitively clarified. Undoubtedly, the fact that baricitinib can provide this antiviral effect at the approved dose for rheumatoid arthritis therapy is an undeniable advantage over other potential inhibitors of the same pathway.
Baricitinib for COVID-19; a suitable treatment