FDA Approves Actemra for Hospitalized Adults with COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Actemra (tocilizumab) to be used for the treatment of hospitalized adults with COVID-19. Actemra is a monoclonal antibody that has been used to treat certain types of arthritis, but now offers new hope for patients with COVID-19 who are hospitalized. In this blog, we will focus on the key points surrounding Actemra’s EUA, what it means for the treatment of COVID-19, and the potential impact of this new therapy.

Key Points

Here are the key points regarding Actemra’s FDA EUA:

1. Overview of Actemra:

Actemra is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor. This receptor is involved in the inflammatory pathway that leads to the severe immune response in COVID-19 patients. Actemra is already used in the treatment of certain types of arthritis.


The FDA granted EUA for the use of Actemra to treat hospitalized adults with severe COVID-19. Specifically, the approval is for patients who are receiving systemic corticosteroids and require supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation. The authorization is based on data from clinical trials that have shown that Actemra can improve outcomes for patients with severe COVID-19.

3. Potential Impact:

The approval of Actemra offers new hope for patients with severe COVID-19 who are hospitalized. The drug helps to modulate the immune response and can help prevent the excessive inflammation that can lead to death in COVID-19 patients. Its availability may also reduce the need for more invasive treatments, such as mechanical ventilation.

4. Administration:

Actemra is administered by infusion under medical supervision. This means that patients must be hospitalized in order to receive the treatment. The therapy is administered over the course of one hour and must be given by a healthcare professional.

5. Clinical Trial Results:

The FDA’s EUA for Actemra was based on positive results from the COVACTA and EMPACTA clinical trials. These studies showed that patients who received Actemra had a reduced risk of death and hospital stay compared to those who received placebo.

6. Future Outlook:

The FDA’s EUA for Actemra represents a significant development in the treatment of severe COVID-19. It offers new hope for patients who may otherwise face a poor prognosis and expands our arsenal of treatments for this devastating disease. The continued development of new and effective treatments for COVID-19 holds the potential to transform outcomes for patients and reduce the impact of this global pandemic.


The FDA’s EUA for Actemra for use in hospitalized adults with severe COVID-19 represents a significant development in the treatment of this disease. Actemra has already been shown to be effective in the treatment of certain types of arthritis, and now its potential to help COVID-19 patients is being realized. The approval of Actemra offers new hope for those who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19 and represents further progress in the fight against this global pandemic. The continued development of innovative treatments for COVID-19 holds tremendous potential for improving outcomes and reducing the impact of this disease on our communities.