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Trial of Imatinib for Hospitalized Adults With COVID-19

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04394416
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : May 19, 2020
Last Update Posted : February 9, 2023
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Ashkan Emadi, MD, PhD, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Brief Summary:
This study is a randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial on the Safety and Efficacy of Imatinib for Hospitalized Adults with COVID-19

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
COVID-19 Drug: Imatinib Drug: Placebo oral tablet Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and at present with no approved or proven antiviral treatment.

Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has been approved for treatment of many hematologic and solid neoplasm. Imatinib is a weak base that compared to the extracellular compartment is enriched over 1000-fold in the lysosome within several hours as a result of its lysosomotropic property. Imatinib as a weak base accumulates in lysosomes resulting in some antiviral activities by lysosomal alkalization required for virus/cell fusion.

Imatinib demonstrates in vitro activity against SARS-CoV viruses. Imatinib inhibit SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV with micromolar EC50s (range, 9.8 to 17.6 μM) with low toxicity. The mechanism of action studies suggested that ABL-1 tyrosine kinase regulates budding or release of poxviruses and Ebola virus, demonstrating that the c-ABL-1 kinase signaling pathways play an important role in the egress of these viruses. It is also reported that kinase signaling may also be important for replication of two members of the Coronaviridae family, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. In vivo studies performed in the mouse model of vaccinia virus infection showed that imatinib was effective in blocking dissemination of the virus.

Imatinib has anti-inflammatory activity including its effectiveness in a "two-hit" murine model of acute lung injury (ALI) caused by combined lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). Imatinib significantly decreased bronchoalveolar lavage protein, total cells, neutrophils, and TNFα levels in mice exposed to LPS plus VILI, indicating that it attenuates ALI in this clinically relevant model. In another experiment, imatinib attenuated ALI when given 4 hours after LPS, suggesting potential efficacy when given after the onset of injury. Overall, these results strongly suggest the therapeutic potential of imatinib against inflammatory vascular leak and a potential role of imatinib combination therapy for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) on mechanical ventilation.

The investigators hypothesize that addition of imatinib to the best conventional care (BCC) improves the outcome of hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19. This hypothesis is on the bases of 1) intralysosomal entrapment of imatinib will increase endosomal pH and effectively decrease SARS-CoV-2/cell fusion, 2) kinase inhibitory activity of imatinib will interfere with budding/release or replication of SARS-CoV-2, and 3) because of the critical role of mechanical ventilation in the care of patients with ARDS, imatinib will have a significant clinical impact for patients with severe COVID-19 infection in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 204 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description:

Arm A: Imatinib

Arm B: Placebo

Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial on the Safety and Efficacy of Imatinib for Hospitalized Adults With COVID-19
Actual Study Start Date : June 2, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 30, 2024
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 30, 2024

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Imatinib
Imatinib oral 400 mg daily for 14 days.
Drug: Imatinib

Active Comparator: Placebo
Placebo oral for 14 days
Drug: Placebo oral tablet

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The proportion of patients with a two-point change using the 8-category ordinal scale [ Time Frame: Day 14 from baseline ]
    The ordinal scale is an evaluation of the clinical status at the first assessment of a given study day. The scale is as follows: 1) Not hospitalized, no limitations on activities; 2) Not hospitalized, limitation on activities and/or requiring home oxygen; 3) Hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen - no longer requires ongoing medical care; 4) Hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen - requiring ongoing medical care (COVID-19 related or otherwise); 5) Hospitalized, requiring supplemental oxygen; 6) Hospitalized, on non-invasive ventilation or high flow oxygen devices; 7) Hospitalized, on invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); 8) Death.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. All-Cause mortality [ Time Frame: Day 28 and Day 60 post baseline ]
    All-cause mortality post baseline

  2. Time to a 2-point clinical change [ Time Frame: Up to 60 days post baseline ]
    Time to a 2-point clinical change difference

  3. Hospitalization [ Time Frame: Up to 60 days post baseline ]
    Duration of hospitalization

  4. Duration of ECMO or invasive mechanical ventilation [ Time Frame: Up to 60 days post baseline ]
    For subjects who are on ECMO or mechanical ventilation at Day 1

  5. Duration of ICU stay [ Time Frame: Up to 60 days post baseline ]
    For subjects who are in ICU at Day 1

  6. SARS-CoV-2 negative [ Time Frame: Up to 60 days post baseline ]
    Time to SARS-CoV-2 negative by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)

  7. Negative oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab [ Time Frame: Up to 28 days post baseline ]
    Proportion of patients with negative oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 by quantitative RT PCR on days 5, 10, 14, 21, and 28 after starting treatment

  8. Serious adverse events (SAEs) [ Time Frame: Up to 60 days post baseline ]
    Proportion of subjects with serious adverse events

  9. Discontinuation due to adverse events [ Time Frame: Up to 60 days post baseline ]
    Proportion of subjects who discontinue study drug due to adverse events

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

Patients may be included in the study only if they meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Ability to understand and willingness to sign a written informed consent document. Informed consent must be obtained prior to participation in the study. For patients who are too unwell to provide consent such as patients on invasive ventilator or ECMO, Legally Authorized Representative (LAR) can sign the informed consent.
  2. Hospitalized patients ≥ 18 years of age
  3. Positive RT-PCR assay for SARS-CoV-2 in the respiratory tract sample (oropharyngeal, nasopharyngeal or BAL) by Center for Disease Control or local laboratory within 7 days of randomization.

Exclusion Criteria

Patients meeting any of the following criteria are not eligible for the study:

  1. Patients receiving any other investigational agents in a clinical trial. Off-label use of agents such as hydroxychloroquine is not an exclusion criterion. Therapies that are shown to be effective but may not be licensed can be added as an exception to the exclusion criteria in order to allow for the most contemporary standard of care to include emergency use authorization treatments as they become available. Antivirals such as remdesivir will be permissible given the FDA authorized emergency use.
  2. Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  3. Patients with significant liver or renal dysfunction function at screen as defined as:

    • Direct bilirubin > 2.5 mg/dL
    • AST, ALT, or alkaline phosphatase > 5 x upper limit of normal
    • eGFR ≤ 30 mL/min or requiring renal replacement therapy
  4. Patients with significant hematologic disorder at screen as defined as:

    • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) < 500/μL
    • Platelet < 20,000/μL
    • Hemoglobin < 7 g/dL
  5. Uncontrolled undercurrent illness including, but not limited to, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, uncontrolled active seizure disorder, or psychiatric illness/social situations that per site Principal Investigator's judgment would limit compliance with study requirements.
  6. Known allergy to imatinib or its component products.
  7. Any other clinical conditions that in the opinion of the investigator would make the subject unsuitable for the study.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04394416

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United States, Maryland
University of Maryland Medical Center
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21201
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Additional Information:

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Ashkan Emadi, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, University of Maryland, Baltimore
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04394416    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2038GCCC
First Posted: May 19, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 9, 2023
Last Verified: February 2023
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Pneumonia, Viral
Respiratory Tract Infections
Virus Diseases
Coronavirus Infections
Coronaviridae Infections
Nidovirales Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Imatinib Mesylate
Antineoplastic Agents
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action