Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Remdesivir in Coronavirus Disease 2019 patients treated with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies: a case series

Susanne Rüfenacht, Pascal Gantenbein, Katia Boggian, Domenica Flury, Lukas Kern, Günter Dollenmaier, Philipp Kohler & Werner Albrich


COVID-19 patients on anti-CD20 treatment can suffer a delayed viral clearance and worse clinical outcome. We aim to present our experience with remdesivir treatment in anti-CD20-treated patients with prolonged symptoms, a patient population for which no data from randomized controlled trials are available.

From the beginning of the pandemic until February 2021, we included all consecutive patients from our healthcare network on anti-CD20 treatment with prolonged COVID-19 symptoms, who received remdesivir. Patient informed consent was gathered and patients' charts were reviewed to collect baseline data, COVID-19 history including time of symptom onset, diagnosis, data on treatment and disease course. Patients or their next of kin were contacted in March 2022 to assess long-term outcomes.

We included 11 patients, who received remdesivir at a median of 33 days after diagnosis. Eight patients showed clinical improvement along with reductions in viral loads, one patient with relapsing infection recovered after administration of convalescent plasma, and two patients died. No clinical relapses were reported (median follow-up 13 months), while follow-up PCRs were not performed. One patient died of underlying malignancy 8 months after recovery from COVID-19.

We observed a benefit of antiviral therapy in a majority of COVID-19 patients on anti-CD20 treatment, without any clinical relapses in the 1-year follow-up. Although these data suggest that remdesivir might be a promising management option in patients with delayed viral clearance, the lack of a control group is an important limitation of the study design.

Ethikkommission Ostschweiz, Scheibenackerstrasse 4, CH-9000 St. Gallen approved this case series. Project-ID 2021-00349 EKOS 21/027.
citation Rüfenacht S, Gantenbein P, Boggian K, Flury D, Kern L, Dollenmaier G, Kohler P, Albrich W. Remdesivir in Coronavirus Disease 2019 patients treated with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies: a case series. Infection 2022;.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 15-04-2022
journal title Infection
ISSN electronic 1439-0973
PubMed 35426564
DOI 10.1007/s15010-022-01821-y