New medication shows promise in treating common skin disease

July 9, 2014, University of Rochester Medical Center

An investigational medication shows promise in treating the most common skin disorder, often referred to as eczema or atopic dermatitis, according to a study published July 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings could eventually bring significant relief for many who suffer intense itching and other troubling features of atopic dermatitis, according to the study's lead author Lisa A. Beck, M.D., professor of Dermatology and Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The drug, dupilumab, blocks the action of two proteins involved in inflammation, interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, which play a key role in (AD). AD is a common with troubling signs that include severely dry , red lesions that may crust or ooze, skin thickening, and symptoms of intense itching that may lead to skin wounds, infections and sleep disturbance.

Moderate-to-severe AD is a more chronic version of the disease that typically has more systemic features and is seen in up to 3 percent of adults with the disease. AD can impact a person's ability to lead a full and active life. In addition, people with AD are more likely to have asthma and other allergic disorders such as hay fever. Current treatments for AD include topical and oral steroids as well as phototherapy, but their effectiveness is limited or the side effects associated with their chronic use are significant.

"We are encouraged by the consistent findings across these studies, which show that patients treated with dupilumab had a marked improvement in disease activity and itch," Beck said. "At this point, dupilumab appears to be remarkably effective for adults with severe AD, although larger studies are needed to confirm its safety and efficacy."

Dupilumab is administered as a skin injection, and has shown promise in both Phase I and Phase II studies. Participants in a 12-week Phase II study showed a 74 percent reduction in the Eczema Area Severity Index, a tool used to measure the severity of a patient's condition, compared to only 23 percent in the placebo group. The majority of patients in the group receiving dupilumab experienced significant reductions in itch.

The study's findings set the stage for Phase III clinical trials of dupilumab, to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, and compare it to commonly used treatments.

Dupilumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Sanofi.

Explore further: Monoclonal antibody appears effective and safe in asthma Phase IIa trial

Related Stories

Monoclonal antibody appears effective and safe in asthma Phase IIa trial

May 21, 2013
A novel approach to obstructing the runaway inflammatory response implicated in some types of asthma has shown promise in a Phase IIa clinical trial, according to U. S. researchers.

Study suggests symptoms of childhood eczema persist, likely a lifelong illness

April 2, 2014
Children diagnosed with atopic dermatitis (AD or eczema) may have symptoms persist into their 20s, and the condition is likely to be a lifelong illness marked by waxing and waning skin problems.

First genetic mutations linked to atopic dermatitis identified in African-American children

November 11, 2013
Two specific genetic variations in people of African descent are responsible for persistent atopic dermatitis (AD), an itchy, inflammatory form of the skin disorder eczema. A new report by researchers in the Perelman School ...

Large-scale Japanese genomics project finds eight new loci linked to atopic dermatitis

February 22, 2013
Around one in ten Japanese school children suffer from a debilitating form of eczema known as atopic dermatitis (AD). Despite clear signs that the condition is heritable, the genetic origins of the disease have remained elusive. ...

Sequential oral, topical tacrolimus benefits dermatitis

September 20, 2012
(HealthDay)—Sequential therapy with oral tacrolimus and topical tacrolimus may be an effective treatment for severe atopic dermatitis (AD), according to a pilot study published in the October issue of the Journal of the ...

Wet wraps cut need for drugs in kids with eczema

July 8, 2014
The number of children with atopic dermatitis, often referred to as eczema, is on the rise. Some estimate that one in five children in the U.S. now suffers from the painful, itchy skin condition. In an effort to control their ...

Recommended for you

New long-acting approach for malaria therapy developed

January 22, 2018
A new study, published in Nature Communications, conducted by the University of Liverpool and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine highlights a new 'long acting' medicine for the prevention of malaria.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness

January 22, 2018
A major review by UNSW researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe.

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.