Case report: Use of lenzilumab and tocilizumab for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019

Megan Melody, Jared Nelson, Jacquelyn Hastings, Joshua Propst, Michael Smerina, Julio Mendez, Pramod Guru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel disease associated with a cytokine-mediated, severe, acute respiratory syndrome. Tocilizumab and lenzilumab are recombinant monoclonal antibodies against IL-6 and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, respectively, and have been proposed as a potential treatment for acute, hypoxic respiratory failure associated with COVID-19. Results & methodology: We present the case of a 68-year-old man with COVID-19 who was initially treated with hydroxychloroquine and lenzilumab, but continued to develop hypoxemia, requiring an increase in respiratory support with an associated rise in serum inflammatory markers. He was subsequently treated with tocilizumab with marked clinical improvement and a decrease in acute phase reactants within 48 h. Discussion & conclusion: This case demonstrates the effective use of tocilizumab in the treatment of COVID-19 and suggests the superiority of tocilizumab over lenzilumab in the management of this cytokine-mediated syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1126
Number of pages6
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • GM-CSF
  • IL-6
  • cytokine-release syndrome
  • inflammatory markers
  • lenzilumab
  • monoclonal antibody
  • pneumonia
  • severe acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • tocilizumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


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