China Includes Roche Drug in Coronavirus Treatment Guidelines


China has listed a rheumatoid arthritis drug developed by Roche Holding AG and Japan’s Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. as an official treatment for certain coronavirus patients, the country’s health authorities said Wednesday.?
The National Health Commission included tocilizumab, sold by the Swiss pharma giant under the trade name Actemra, in its latest treatment guidelines.?
The commission said the drug can be used for patients with extensive lesions in both lungs and those with severe symptoms, while also showing elevated levels of a protein called Interleukin 6.?
Interleukin 6 is believed to play a role in causing inflammation, and tocilizumab can suppress such conditions by binding with receptors for Interleukin 6, according to Roche’s description of the drug.?
Roche shares are up 1.8% at CHF326.55 in Europe morning trade, while Chugai Pharma closed 1.1% lower at Y11,285.?