• John Evans

New oral JAK inhibitor effective for moderate-to-severe AD


Photo by: G.steph.rocket via Wikimedia Commons

Recently published findings from clinical trials of the oral Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor upadacitinib show it is highly effective in treating moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adolescents and adults.


The findings, published online ahead of print in The Lancet (May 20, 2021), come from the Measure Up 1 and Measure Up 2 multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials. The two trials included approximately 1,600 patients from 305 clinical centres around the world.


Study participants were randomized to receive upadacitinib 15 mg, upadacitinib 30 mg, or placebo.


In the Measure Up 1 study, 70% of patients receiving the 15 mg dose, and 80% of those on the 30 mg dose achieved a 75% reduction in Eczema Area and Severity Index scores (EASI-75) at week 16. This compared to just 16% in the Measure Up 1 placebo group.


For the Measure Up 2 study, 60% of participants in the 15 mg dose group and 73% of the 30 mg dose group achieved EASI-75, compared to 13% in the placebo group.


A higher proportion of patients in the active treatment groups also achieved Validated Investigator Global Assessment for Atopic Dermatitis (vIGA-AD) response at week 16. For the Measure Up 1 study, this included 48% of the 15 mg dose group and 62% of the 30 mg dose group, compared to 8% in the placebo group. In the Measure Up 2 study, 39% in the 15 mg dose group and 52% of the 30 mg dose group achieved vIGA-AD, compared to 5% in the placebo group.


Both dosing regimens of upadacitinib were well-tolerated.


In a press release from Trinity College, Dublin, the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Alan Irvine said: “Atopic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disease which, when severe, has a very significant impact on quality of life. These results are hugely encouraging and will hopefully offer an additional treatment option for patients very soon.”

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