Introduction: This study, for the first time to our knowledge, evaluated the efficacy of ropeginterferon alfa-2b, a long-acting pegylated interferon (IFN)-alfa, in the treatment of COVID-19. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated ropeginterferon alfa-2b administered subcutaneously at a single dose of 250 µg for the treatment of mild and moderate COVID-19. Primary outcome was to compare the overall negative conversion time from the confirmed, last positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR to the first RT-PCR negative conversion between patients receiving ropeginterferon alfa-2b plus standard of care (SOC) and those receiving SOC alone. Results: Thirty-five patients with mild COVID-19 and 37 patients with moderate disease were included. Of them, 19 patients received SOC plus ropeginterferon alfa-2b and 53 patients received SOC alone. All patients with moderate disease in the ropeginterferon alfa-2b group showed RT-PCR negative conversion within 8 days, while a significant portion of patients in the SOC alone group failed to do so. For patients with moderate disease and age ≤ 65 years old, the ropeginterferon alfa-2b group had statistically significant shorter median RT-PCR conversion time than the SOC alone group (7 vs. 11.5 days, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Ropeginterferon alfa-2b showed the potential for the treatment of moderate COVID-19 patients. A randomized, controlled Phase III study is planned to further assess the effectiveness of ropeginterferon alfa-2b in COVID-19 patients.
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