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Monoclonal antibody
TypeWhole antibody
Trade namesKevzara
Clinical data
Drug classMonoclonal antibody[1]
Main usesRheumatoid arthritis (RA)[1]
Side effectsLiver problems, low neutrophils, pain at the site of injection, infections[1]
  • US: N (Not classified yet)
Routes of
Typical dose200 mg[1]
External links
US NLMSarilumab
License data
Legal status
  • AU: S4 (Prescription only)
  • US: ℞-only
  • EU: Rx-only
Metabolismlikely proteases
Elimination half-life21 days (steady-state, estimated)
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass144164.28 g·mol−1
 ☒NcheckY (what is this?)  (verify)

Sarilumab, sold under the brand name Kevzara, is a medication used to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA).[1] It is used for moderate to severe disease when other treatments have not worked.[1] It is used by injection under the skin.[1]

Common side effects include liver problems, low neutrophils, pain at the site of injection, and infections.[1] Other side effects may include allergic reactions, low platelets, abnormal lipids, and cancer.[2] It is a monoclonal antibody which attaches to and blocks the interleukin-6 receptor.[1]

Sarilumab was approved for medical use in the United States and Europe in 2017.[2][1] In the United States it costs about 7,700 USD per month as of 2021.[3] In the United Kingdom this amount costs the NHS about £1800.[4] In Canada the monthly cost is about 1,500 CAD as of 2017.[5]

Medical uses

Sarilumab is used for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis in people who have not responded to, or did not tolerate, more conventional treatments.[6] It can be used alone or in combination with methotrexate or other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).[1]


It is typically use at a dose of 200 mg every two weeks.[1]


In the European Union, sarilumab is contraindicated in people with active, severe infections.[1] While this is not listed as a contraindication under the US FDA approval, there is a boxed warning that recommends testing for hidden tuberculosis infection before treatment and monitoring for signs of an infection during therapy with sarilumab.[7]

Side effects

The MONARCH trial suggested a significantly higher incidence of neutropenia in patients receiving 200 mg sarilumab every 2 weeks, compared to patients being treated with adalimumab (13.6% vs 0.5%). However, infection rates were similar between both groups (28.8% vs 27.7%).[8]

Other common side effects that occurred in 1% to 10% of patients included thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), infections of the upper respiratory tract and the urinary tract, oral herpes, hyperlipidaemia, and reactions at the injection site.[1]


In October 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused approval for marketing as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis due to good manufacturing practice (GMP) violations.[8] The drug was eventually approved by the FDA on 22 May 2017.


Rheumatoid arthritis

On May 15, 2013, both companies announced that 2 new trials were starting (COMPARE and ASCERTAIN) and the first patients had already been enrolled.[9]

In June 2015, a phase III trial (with methotrexate) for RA reported meeting its three coprimary endpoints.[10]

In November 2015, the SARIL-RA-TARGET trial reported good results (meeting both its coprimary end points).[11]

In November 2016, the MONARCH phase III trial comparing sarilimab to adalimumab (an anti-TNF) found sarilumab superior at reducing the DAS28-ESR score in patients with RA after 24 weeks.[8]

In July 2019, a multi-center trial was launched to study 'Sarilumab in Patients With Glucocorticoid-Dependent Sarcoidosis.' [12]

Ankylosing spondylitis

Development in ankylosing spondylitis has been suspended after the drug failed to show clinical benefit over methotrexate in a phase II trial.[13]


A study of 420 patients was halted in September 2020, due to lack of demonstrated effectiveness in treating COVID-19 symptoms.[14]

On January 7, 2021, following a REMAP-CAP trial, Tocilizumab and Sarilumab were added to the UK recommended list for COVID-19 treatment, the number needed to treat is 12, meaning for every 12 intensive care unit patients treated 1 additional person survives compared to treatment as normal, also speeding up patients' recovery and reducing the length of time that critically-ill patients need to spend in intensive care by about a week [15]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 "Kevzara". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Sarilumab Monograph for Professionals". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  3. "Kevzara Prices, Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs". Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  4. BNF (80 ed.). BMJ Group and the Pharmaceutical Press. September 2020 – March 2021. p. 1161. ISBN 978-0-85711-369-6.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  5. "Sarilumab" (PDF). CADTH. January 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  6. Boyce EG, Rogan EL, Vyas D, Prasad N, Mai Y (Feb 2018). "Sarilumab: Review of a Second IL-6 Receptor Antagonist Indicated for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis". Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 52 (8): 780–791. doi:10.1177/1060028018761599. PMID 29482351.
  7. Sarilumab Monograph. Accessed 2017-11-29.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Burmester GR, Lin Y, Patel R, van Adelsberg J, Mangan EK, Graham NM, et al. (May 2017). "Efficacy and safety of sarilumab monotherapy versus adalimumab monotherapy for the treatment of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (MONARCH): a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group phase III trial". Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 76 (5): 840–847. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210310. PMC 5530335. PMID 27856432.
  9. Sanofi and Regeneron Announce Patient Enrollment in Two Phase 3 Trials with Sarilumab in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). May 2013
  10. Genovese MC, Fleischmann R, Kivitz AJ, Rell-Bakalarska M, Martincova R, Fiore S, et al. (June 2015). "Sarilumab Plus Methotrexate in Patients With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inadequate Response to Methotrexate: Results of a Phase III Study". Arthritis & Rheumatology. 67 (6): 1424–37. doi:10.1002/art.39093. PMID 25733246.
  11. Walker T. "Sarilumab effective in broad range of RA patients: Study". Formulary Watch. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015.
  12. "More Information". Sarcoidosis Program. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  13. "Sanofi and Regeneron Report Positive Phase 2b Trial Results with Sarilumab in Rheumatoid Arthritis". (Press release). Paris & Tarrytown, New York: Regeneron. July 12, 2011.
  14. Sanofi halts tests of arthritis drug for use as a COVID-19 treatment
  15. Roberts, Michelle (2021-01-07). "Two more life-saving Covid drugs discovered". BBC News. Retrieved 2021-01-07.

External links

External sites: