Does the administration of tocilizumab reduce hospital-related mortality for COVID-19 patients in the ICU?

Bottom Line:

This study looked at 764 COVID-19 patients in the ICU and found that administration of tocilizumab, a potential treatment, reduced hospital-related mortality from the virus.


Biran, N. et al. Tocilizumab among patients with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit: a multicentre observational study. The Lancet Rheumatology (2020).  

Date Published:

14 August 2020


This study looked, retrospectively at 764 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, and required subsequent support in the intensive care unit of 13 hospitals. Of the 764 patients, 27% received tocilizumab, a prospective treatment for the virus. In general, the patients that received tocilizumab were significantly younger than those that did not receive it. As well, those that received tocilizumab, on average, had less comorbidities. The primary outcome of this study was hospital-related death. To analyze this, the researchers used 630 of these patients and found that administration of tocilizumab was associated with reduced hospital-related death. This was indicated with a hazard ratio of 0.64, meaning that patients who received tocilizumab were 36% less likely to experience hospital-related death when compared to those who did not receive it. Although more research has to be completed, this study supports the fact that tocilizumab may help in the treatment of COVID-19.

Summary by: Max Solish