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Japanese arthritis drug Actemra effective against COVID, UK says

Study finds medication lowers risk of death by 24% and shortens ICU stays

Authorization to use the arthritis medication as a COVID-19 treatment comes as cases top 50,000 a day in the U.K., taxing hospital resources.   © Reuters

LONDON -- Arthritis medication developed by Japan's Chugai Pharmaceutical provides effective treatment against the novel coronavirus, according to the British government, lowering mortality risk and shortening hospital stays.

A U.K. government-backed trial found Chugai's tocilizumab, marketed as Actemra, to lower patients' risk of death from COVID-19 by 24%, with their stays in intensive care units shortened by seven to 10 days.

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