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expert reaction to preprint from the RECOVERY trial on baricitinib in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19

A preprint, an unpublished non peer reviewed study, gives the results of the baricitinib arm of the RECOVERY trial.

This Roundup accompanied an SMC Briefing.


Prof Athimalaipet Ramanan, Honorary Professor of Paediatric Rheumatology, University of Bristol, said:

“This much-awaited result from RECOVERY further confirms the role of Baricitinib in the reduction of mortality in adults with COVID.  Although the RECOVERY trial is not a placebo-controlled trial, which is a significant limitation, the important aspect of the finding from this paper is that Baricitinib is effective in reducing mortality even in those treated with IL-6 blockade (e.g. Tocilizumab).  As an oral agent with a short half-life and potentially less expensive, this makes Baricitinib a more attractive agent after steroids in low/middle-income country settings.  This paper adds further weight to the recently published WHO guidance which states that Steroids, Tocilizumab and Baricitnib are the three drugs with strong evidence for use in COVID.”


Preprint title: ‘Baricitinib in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): a randomised, controlled, open-label, platform trial and updated meta-analysis’ by the RECOVERY Collaborative Group.

This work is not peer-reviewed.



All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:



Declared interests

Prof Athimalaipet Ramanan: “Part of trial steering group/author of study of Baricitinib in COVID.  Involved in trial of Tocilizumab in COVID (in India) and part of WHO led analysis of Tocilizumab for COVID.  Consulting/Advisor to Eli Lilly and Roche.”

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