(The Hague) The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is considering prescribing Olumiant, an immunosuppressant drug, for patients over 10 years of age hospitalized due to COVID-19, the European regulator said Thursday.
“EMA has begun evaluating a proposal to expand the use of Olumiant (baricitinib) for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients aged 10 and older who require supplemental oxygen,” the agency said in a statement.
Olumiant is an immunosuppressant, a drug that reduces the activity of the immune system. It is currently approved for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or atopic dermatitis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints. Atopic dermatitis, also called atopic eczema, is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that predominantly develops in infants and children.
The EMA “will conduct a fast-track assessment of data provided by the company that sells Olumiant,” including the results of studies conducted on coronavirus patients, to determine whether a prescription renewal should be authorized.
According to the EMA, the opinion of the regulator, which should be issued “by July”, will then be sent to the European Commission, which will make the final decision.
This drug was discovered by the American biopharmaceutical company Incyte. The American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly is responsible for its commercialization in accordance with a strategic agreement signed in December 2009.