Patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD) who were treated with topical brepocitinib had a significant improvement in their Eczema Area and Severity Index score at 6 weeks compared with a group that received vehicle, in a recently published study.

The investigators said that brepocitinib, an investigational dual tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) and Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitor, was effective and well tolerated in patients with mild to moderate AD based on improvements in multiple measures, including Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) total score and Investigator Global Assessment (IGA) responder rates. Brepocitinib also reduced pruritus symptoms as early as 2 days after the start of treatment, they noted.

“This study supports the further evaluation of topical brepocitinib as a novel treatment for mild to moderate AD,” Megan N. Landis, MD, of the department of medicine at the University of Louisville (Ky.) and colleagues wrote in the study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

They evaluated brepocitinib in a phase 2b, double-blind, dose-ranging study where 292 patients were randomized to receive brepocitinib once daily (brepocitinib 0.1%, 0.3%, 1.0%, 3.0%) or twice daily (brepocitinib 0.3%, 1.0%), or vehicle for 6 weeks. At 6 weeks, the researchers assessed EASI total score as a primary outcome, an IGA score of 0 or 1 as a secondary outcome. The mean age of the patients was 40 years (range, 13-74), almost 60% were White, 17.5% were Black, and about 20% were Asian.

Compared with the corresponding once-daily vehicle group (least squares mean reduction of –44.4; 90% confidence interval, –57.3 to –31.6) and the twice-daily vehicle group (LSM, –47.6; 90% CI, –57.5 to –37.7), the brepocitinib 1% once-daily group (LSM, –70.1; 90% CI, –82.1 to –58.0) and twice-daily group (LSM, –75.0; 90% CI, –83.8 to –66.2) had significant percentage reductions in EASI total score compared with baseline at 6 weeks. Patients in the other brepocitinib dose groups had nonsignificant reductions in EASI from baseline.

Regarding secondary outcomes, a significantly higher percentage of patients in five of the six active treatment groups who achieved an IGA score of 0 or 1 and at least a 2-point reduction in IGA score in the once-daily brepocitinib 0.1% group (29.7%; 90% CI, 18.5%-43.3%), 0.3% group (33.3%; 90% CI, 21.3%-47.0%), 1.0% group (40.5%; 90% CI, 28.0%-54.4%), 3.0% group (44.4%; 90% CI, 30.2%-59.1%), and brepocitinib 0.3% twice-daily group (33.3%; 90% CI, 21.3%-47.0%) compared with the once-daily (10.8%; 90% CI, 4.8%-22.2%) and twice-daily (13.9%; 90% CI, 6.9%-25.4%) vehicle groups.

The study authors noted that 37.0% of patients overall experienced treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), with most TEAEs occurring in the once-daily vehicle (48.6%), twice-daily vehicle (47.2%), and brepocitinib 0.1% (45.9%) groups. Adverse events were not considered dose dependent, and no group had any serious TEAEs or deaths.

Nasopharyngitis and worsening AD were the most common TEAEs reported, with about 8% of those in the vehicle groups experiencing worsening AD.

Brepocitinib is also currently being developed as a treatment for dermatomyositis, systemic lupus erythematosus, hidradenitis suppurativa, and noninfectious uveitis by Priovant Therapeutics, a company founded by Pfizer and Roivant Sciences.

In September 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved topical ruxolitinib cream for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis aged 12 years and older, the first topical JAK inhibitor approved for AD.

This study was sponsored by Pfizer. The authors reported personal and institutional relationships in the form of investigator positions, fees, honoraria, research grants, employee positions, and holding stock or shares for a variety of pharmaceutical, life science, and biotechnology companies.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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