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Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients Receiving Compassionate Use Leronlimab



Leronlimab, a monoclonal antibody blocker of C-C chemokine receptor type 5 originally developed to treat human immunodeficiency virus infection, was administered as an open-label compassionate-use therapeutic for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Twenty-three hospitalized severe/critical COVID-19 patients received 700 mg leronlimab subcutaneously, repeated after 7 days in 17 of 23 patients still hospitalized. Eighteen of 23 received other experimental treatments, including convalescent plasma, hydroxychloroquine, steroids, and/or tocilizumab. Five of 23 received leronlimab after blinded, placebo-controlled trials of remdesivir, sarilumab, selinexor, or tocilizumab. Outcomes and results were extracted from medical records.


Mean age was 69.5 ± 14.9 years; 20 had significant comorbidities. At baseline, 22 were receiving supplemental oxygen (3 high flow, 7 mechanical ventilation). Blood showed markedly elevated inflammatory markers (ferritin, D-dimer, C-reactive protein) and an elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. By day 30 after initial dosing, 17 were recovered, 2 were still hospitalized, and 4 had died. Of the 7 intubated at baseline, 4 were fully recovered off oxygen, 2 were still hospitalized, and 1 had died.


Leronlimab appeared safe and well tolerated. The high recovery rate suggested benefit, and those with lower inflammatory markers had better outcomes. Some, but not all, patients appeared to have dramatic clinical responses, indicating that unknown factors may determine responsiveness to leronlimab. Routine inflammatory and cell prognostic markers did not markedly change immediately after treatment, although interleukin-6 tended to fall. In some persons, C-reactive protein clearly dropped only after the second leronlimab dose, suggesting that a higher loading dose might be more effective. Future controlled trials will be informative.

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