Dermatology Month in Review: Highlights from March 2023


A set of highlights from some of the impactful breakthroughs covered in dermatology this past month, including phase 3 trial data bimekizumab, tapinarof, and other treatments.

This past month on HCPLive, several important topics were covered as part of our dermatology content from March.

The list includes new trial data on psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (AD), hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), and prurigo nodularis (PN) treatment options.

The following list is a summary of these major breakthroughs covered in March in the dermatology space, with more news and updated content on these topics available on the HCPLive main news page.

Highlights of Dermatology Content in March

1. Positive Phase 3 Trial Results for Tapinarof Cream on Atopic Dermatitis

In this HCPLive article, phase 3 data from the ‘ADORING 2’ trial indicated that about of half of AD patients treated with tapinarof, 1% showed improvement on the Validated Investigator Global Assessment for Atopic Dermatitis (vIGA-ADTM).

The investigators noted that tapinarof may be potential two-in-one first-line topical treatment for both atopic dermatitis and plaque psoriasis, as the new trial found the cream to be both safe and tolerable for all age groups down to 2 years.

The study results were announced by biopharmaceutical company Dermavant Sciences.

2. Positive Trial Results for Hand, Foot Eczema Patients Treated with Dupilumab

This late-breaking data was shown at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2023 conference, showing that about 40% of uncontrolled moderate-to-severe hand and foot AD patients achieved clear or almost clear skin compared to 17% with placebo.

The researchers saw improvements as early as 1 week, noting that there were substantial improvements in measures of sleep, skin pain, as well as hand eczema-related life quality. They noted that the drug was the first biologic evaluated for this particular patient population.

The data was presented by Eric Simpson, MD, the study’s principal trial investigator.

3. Nemolizumab Treatment Led to Improved Skin Lesions, Itch for Prurigo Nodularis Patients

Phase 3 data from the OLYMPIA 2 trial, presented at AAD, showed that nemolizumab monotherapy improved skin lesions, itch, and sleep disturbances in adults with moderate-to-severe prurigo nodularis (PN).

The investigators reported that nemolizumab, a first-in-class, interleukin-31 receptor alpha antagonist, met all of the study’s primary and key secondary endpoints.

The late-breaking results were presented by Shawn Kwatra, MD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

4. Once Daily Roflumilast Improved Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis in Phase 3 Trials

This late-breaking data, presented at AAD, showed that roflumilast 0.15% once-daily improved AD across multiple efficacy endpoints and produced favorable safety and tolerability in patients.

The results showed that adverse events (AEs) were reported in less than 3.5% of patients, and application site pain incidence was low. The data resulted from the INTEGUMENT-1 and INTEGUMENT-2 studies.

The results were presented by Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, from Rady Children's Hospital.

5. Phase 3 Trial Data on Bimekizumab for Patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa

This data, also presented at AAD, indicated that a greater percentage of HS patients achieved HiSCR50 for those treated with bimekizumab compared to placebo at week 16 of the study.

The results came from the BE HEARD I and II trials investigating the selective inhibition of IL-17F and IL-17A by bimekizumb, a monoclonal IgG1 antibody.

The research was presented at the conference by lead investigator Alexa B. Kimball, MD, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

6. Oral Roflumilast Effective, Safe in Treating Plaque Psoriasis Over 24 Weeks

In this study, oral roflumilast treatment was found to lead to significant Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score, with 34.8% of their treatment group reached PASI75 compared to 0.0% in given placebo by week 12.

The late-breaking data on oral roflumilast, a targeted phosphodiesterase (PDE)-4 inhibitor, was presented at AAD 2023. The research team also stated that roflumilast may become a cheap alternative treatment to other psoriasis drugs with more research.

The findings were presented by Alexander Egeberg, MD, PhD, from the University of Copenhagen and Bispebjerg Hospital.

7. Oral TYK2 Inhibitor Led to Significant Skin Clearance Improvement in Psoriasis

These results showed that treatment with TAK-279 (formerly NDI-034858), an oral tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor, led to significant skin clearance improvement for moderate-to-severe psoriasis patients compared to placebo, especially at a once-daily, 5 mg dose.

The phase 2b clinical trial data was shown at AAD, and the investigators demonstrated that at the highest dose of TAK-279, 33% of study participants reached complete skin clearance by week 12.

The data was presented at the conference by April W. Armstrong, MD, MPH, from USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

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