Icosapent Ethyl Reduces hsCRP, Improves Symptoms in COVID-19 Patients

Patrick Campbell

Results of CardioLink-9 suggest icosapent ethyl could provide symptom relief and reduce inflammation in patients with COVID-19.

New research presented at the National Lipids Association 2020 annual meeting suggests investigators may have found an additional use for icosapent ethyl.

Results of the CardioLink-9 trial demonstrate use of icosapent ethyl (Vascepa) in patients with COVID-19 resulted in statistically significant reductions of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and significant reductions in symptom burden.

"This study provides the first evidence of an early anti-inflammatory effect of icosapent ethyl in symptomatic COVID-19 positive outpatients – who represent the majority of patients affected by this disease in the community,” said Deepak Bhatt, MD, MPH, study presenter and executive director of Interventional Cardiovascular Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in a statement.

Conducted by investigators at the Canadian Medical and Surgical Knowledge Translation Research group, CardioLink-9 enrolled 100 COVID-19 positive patients in Canada through family physicians in their open-label study. For inclusion in the trial, patients needed to have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive in the preceding 3 days. All patients included in the trial were randomized to icosapent ethyl or usual care—investigators pointed out icosapent ethyl was given at a dose of 8 grams daily for 3 days and then 4 grams daily for the next 11 days.

Upon analysis, investigators found treatment with icosapent ethyl was associated with a 25% reduction in hsCRP, which was statistically significant. Further analysis indicated treatment with icosapent ethyl was also associated with improvements in overall symptoms. During the treatment period, FLU-PRO symptoms, which is a validated outcome measure to evaluate flu symptoms, were reduced from 100% at baseline to 48% at the end of treatment.

For more information on the trial, check out this recent interview about study results with Bhatt.