Otilimab, a monoclonal antibody, did not make a significant difference when used to treat patients in addition to standard of care, compared to those receiving standard of care alone.
However, 65.1% of patients aged over 70 were alive and free of respiratory failure 28 days after treatment with otilimab plus standard of care, compared to 45.9% of patients who received the standard of care alone.
Chance of death was 26% and 40.4% for the two cohorts respectively.
The FTSE 100 pharma giant said these data suggest a potentially important clinical benefit in this sub-group of high-risk patients, so it is expanding the study to focus on them.
“Patients aged 70 and over account for 70% of COVID-related deaths and nearly 40% of hospitalisations,” said Christopher Corsico, Senior Vice President for Development, in a release.
“Given the profound impact this pandemic is having on the elderly and the encouraging data we are sharing today, we are hopeful this finding will be replicated in the additional cohort.”
Shares were flat at 1,215.93p on Thursday afternoon.