Unraveling the Treatment Effect of Baricitinib on Clinical Progression and Resource Utilization in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: Secondary Analysis of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Randomized Trial-2.


The Adaptive COVID Treatment Trial-2 (ACTT-2) found that baricitinib in combination with remdesivir therapy (BCT) sped recovery in hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients vs remdesivir monotherapy (RMT). We examined how BCT affected progression throughout hospitalization and utilization of intensive respiratory therapies.

We characterized the clinical trajectories of 891 ACTT-2 participants requiring supplemental oxygen or higher levels of respiratory support at enrollment. We estimated the effect of BCT on cumulative incidence of clinical improvement and deterioration using competing risks models. We developed multistate models to estimate the effect of BCT on clinical improvement and deterioration and on utilization of respiratory therapies.

BCT resulted in more linear improvement and lower incidence of clinical deterioration compared with RMT (hazard ratio [HR], 0.74; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.95). The benefit was pronounced among participants enrolled on high-flow oxygen or noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation. In this group, BCT sped clinical improvement (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.51) while slowing clinical deterioration (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.48 to 1.02), which reduced the expected days in ordinal score (OS) 6 per 100 patients by 74 days (95% CI, -8 to 154 days) and the expected days in OS 7 per 100 patients by 161 days (95% CI, 46 to 291 days) compared with RMT. BCT did not benefit participants who were mechanically ventilated at enrollment.

Compared with RMT, BCT reduces the clinical burden and utilization of intensive respiratory therapies for patients requiring low-flow oxygen or noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation compared with RMT and may thereby improve care for this patient population.

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