Higher rates of COVID-19 but less severe infections reported for patients on Dupilumab: A big data analysis of the World Health Organization VigiBase

Mahroum N., Damiani G., Watad A., Amital H., Bragazzi N. L., Farah R., ...More

European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, vol.25, no.18, pp.5865-5870, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 18
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.26355/eurrev_202109_26808
  • Journal Name: European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.5865-5870
  • Keywords: Data mining, Big data, Pharmacovigilance, Dupilumab, Biologic therapy, Atopic dermatitis, Nasal polyposis, Asthma, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


Objective: Dupilumab (Dupixent ®) is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits IL- 4 and IL-13 signaling used for the treatment of allergic diseases. Whilst biologic therapy is traditionally regarded as immunosuppressive and capable to increase the infectious risk, Dupilumab does not display these characteristics and may be even protective in certain cases. We investigated the link between Dupilumab therapy and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and Methods: We carried out a comprehensive data mining and disproportionality analysis of the WHO global pharmacovigilance database. One asymptomatic COVID-19 case, 106 cases of symptomatic COVID-19, and 2 cases of severe COVID-19 pneumonia were found. Results: Dupilumab treated patients were at higher risk of COVID-19 (with an IC0.25of 3.05), even though infections were less severe (IC0.25of -1.71). The risk of developing COVID-19 was significant both among males and females (with an IC0.25of 0.24 and 0.58, respectively). The risk of developing COVID-19 was significant in the agegroup of 45-64 years (with an IC0.25of 0.17). Conclusions: Dupilumab use seems to reduce COVID-19 related severity. Further studies are needed to better understand the immunological mechanisms and clinical implications of these findings. Remarkably, the heterogenous nature of the reports and the database structure did not allow to establish a cause-effect link, but only an epidemiologically decreased risk in the patients subset treated with dupilumab.