(Add authorization details, adds background)
Nov 10 (Reuters) - Sobi North America, a unit of Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, said on Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized its arthritis drug for treatment of high-risk hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The drug, already approved in the European Union for treating COVID, has been authorized in the United States to treat patients with pneumonia who require oxygen support and those at risk of developing severe respiratory failure.
The authorization of Sobi's Kineret adds another option for COVID treatment in the United States, as the disease moves from a pandemic to an endemic stage.
Antiviral drugs such as Pfizer's Paxlovid and Gilead's Veklury, which help to stop the COVID causing virus from replicating itself, are among the authorized treatments for mild-to-moderate COVID in adults at risk of severe disease.
Sobi's Kineret, which is primarily used as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, works by reducing the activity of a protein called Interleukin-1 that is linked to acute severe lung inflammation in COVID. (Reporting by Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)