Proxalutamide Improves Inflammatory, Immunologic, and Thrombogenic Markers in Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19 Males and Females: an Exploratory Analysis of a Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial Early Antiandrogen Therapy (EAT) with Proxalutamid

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Abstract Background:

The androgen theory on COVID-19 is based on the fact that males, in particular when affected by androgenetic alopecia, and females with hyperandrogenic states are more severely affected by COVID-19, while chronic users of antiandrogens experiment lower rates of COVID-19 complications. The theory finds plausibility on the androgen-mediated transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS-2), a key protein for SARS-CoV-2 cell entry. We demonstrated reduction of hospitalization rate using a potent non-steroidal antiandrogen (NSAA), proxalutamide, in both females and males COVID-19 outpatients. In this joint exploratory analysis, we aimed to demonstrate whether the efficacy of proxalutamide on mild-to-moderate COVID-19 could be justified by improvements in inflammatory, immunologic, and thrombogenic responses. Methods: This is a joint post-hoc analysis of two double-blind, placebo-controlled twoarm randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on proxalutamide 200mg/day for seven days for female and male COVID-19 outpatients, respectively, compared to standard of care (SOC), of hematocrit, neutrophils lymphocytes, eosinophils, platelets, neutrophil-tolymphocyte (N/L) ratio, ferritin, fibrinogen, D-dimer, ultrasensitive C-reactive protein (usCRP) lactate 1-hour erythrocyte sedimentation rate (1hESR), total testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), oxygen saturation and heart rate measured on days 0, 1 and 7. Results: A total of 445 subjects were enrolled (268 males and 177 females) between October 21th 2020 and February 28th 2021, with similar baseline characteristics. Neutrophils were lower in proxalutamide group in Day 1 (p = 0.005) and Day 7 (p < 0.0001). Lymphocytes were higher in the proxalutamide group in Day 7 (p = 0.0001). Eosinophils were higher in the proxalutamide arm in Day 1 (p = 0.04) and Day 7 (p < 0.00010. In Day 7, platelets were higher in proxalutamide arm (p = 0.03). Ferritin levels were lower in proxalutamide arm in Day 7 (p = 0.03) Fibrinogen levels were lower in proxalutamide group in Days 1 and 7 (p < 0.0001 for both days). D-dimer levels were lower in proxalutamide group in Days 1 and 7 (p < 0.0001 for both days). UsCRP levels were reduced in proxalutamide group in Day 7 (p < 0.0001). 1hESR) was reduced in proxalutamide arm in Day 1 (p = 0.0009) and Day 7 (p < 0.0001). In males, testosterone levels were higher in proxalutamide group in Day 1 (p = 0.048) and Day 7 (p = 0.0001). In females, testosterone levels were higher in proxalutamide group in Day 7 (p = 0.018), It is made available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license . (which was not certified by peer review) is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. medRxiv preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.24.21261047; this version posted July 25, 2021. The copyright holder for this preprint and estradiol levels were higher in proxalutamide arm in Day 1 (p = 0.044). Oxygen saturation was higher in proxalutamide in Day 1 (p = 0.0006) and Day 7 (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: The substantial improvements observed in immunologic, inflammatory, thrombotic and oxygen markers with proxalutamide may support the reduction of hospitalization rate observed in both females and males with COVID-19 using proxalutamide, compared to standard of care.