PHARMACY

FDA approves eczema drug

BY Brian Berk

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved Regeneron’s Dupixent (dupilumab) injection to treat adults with moderate-to-severe eczema (atopic dermatitis). Dupixent is intended for patients whose eczema is not controlled adequately by topical therapies, or those for whom topical therapies are not advisable. Dupixent can be used with or without topical corticosteroids.

“FDA’s approval of Dupixent demonstrates our commitment to approving new and innovative therapies for patients with skin disease,” said Julie Beitz, M.D., director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Eczema can cause significant skin irritation and discomfort for patients, so it is important to have a variety of treatment options available to patients, including those patients whose disease is not controlled by topical therapies.”

Atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease, is often referred to as “eczema,” which is a general term for several types of inflammation of the skin. Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema; onset typically begins in childhood and can last through adulthood. The cause of atopic dermatitis is a combination of genetic, immune and environmental factors. In atopic dermatitis, the skin develops red, scaly and crusted bumps, which are extremely itchy. Scratching leads to swelling, cracking, “weeping” clear fluid, and finally, coarsening and thickening of the skin.

Dupixent is administered as an injection under the skin. The safety and efficacy of Dupixent were established in three placebo-controlled clinical trials with a total of 2,119 adult participants with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis not adequately controlled by topical medication(s). Overall, participants who received Dupixent achieved greater response, defined as clear or almost clear skin, and experienced a reduction in itch after 16 weeks of treatment.

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