Authors: Wambier CG, Lin EM, Cadegiani FA, Goren A, Nau GJ

PMID: 33633920 PMCID: PMC7899267 DOI: 10.7759/cureus.13492


Background The entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into type II pneumocytes is dependent on a modification of viral spike proteins by transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) expressed on the surface of human cells. TMPRSS2 is regulated by the androgen receptor, hence, SARS-CoV-2 infectivity is indirectly dependent on androgenic status and phenotype. Previously, we have reported that men affected by androgenetic alopecia (AGA) are overrepresented in severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Additionally, we have reported that men taking antiandrogenic drugs, e.g., 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5ARis), are less likely to have severe COVID-19. Here we aimed to test whether the androgen receptor antagonist, Proxalutamide, would be a beneficial treatment for subjects with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods Male and female subjects were recruited to a double-blinded, randomized, prospective, investigational study of Proxalutamide for the treatment of COVID-19. Mild to moderate, non-hospitalized subjects, who were confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2, were treated with either Proxalutamide 200 mg/day or placebo. Endpoints for the study were remission time (days) and the percentage of subjects confirmed negative for SARS-CoV-2 on Day 7 after treatment. A negative SARS-CoV-2 test was defined by concentration-time (Ct)>40 determined by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). Results Two-hundred thirty-six (2360 subjects were included in the study (108 female, 128 male); 171 were randomized to the Proxalutamide arm and 65 were in the placebo group. On Day 7, SARS-CoV-2 became non-detectable with rtPCR (cT>40) in 82% of the subjects in the Proxalutamide group versus 31% in the placebo group (p < 0.001). The average clinical remission time for patients treated with Proxalutamide was 4.2 ±5.4 days versus 21.8 ±13.0 days in the placebo arm (p < 0.001). Conclusion Proxalutamide significantly accelerated viral clearance on Day 7 in mild to moderate COVID-19 patients versus placebo. Further, the time to clinical remission was significantly reduced in patients treated with Proxalutamide versus placebo.[/fusion_text][fusion_text columns="" column_min_width="" column_spacing="" rule_style="" rule_size="" rule_color="" hue="" saturation="" lightness="" alpha="" content_alignment_medium="" content_alignment_small="" content_alignment="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" sticky_display="normal,sticky" class="" id="" margin_top="" margin_right="" margin_bottom="" margin_left="" fusion_font_family_text_font="" fusion_font_variant_text_font="" font_size="" line_height="" letter_spacing="" text_transform="" text_color="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_color="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_delay="0" animation_offset=""]Keywords: androgen receptor; androgenetic alopecia; anti-androgen therapy; covid-19; proxalutamide; sars-cov-2; tmprss2; transmembrane protease serine 2.

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