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Karan Lal, DO: Eczema Awareness Month and FDA Approval of Dupilumab

A discussion with Dr. Lal on the successful trials and recent approval of dupilumab as a treatment for skin inflammation.

The recent approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of dupilumab for adults with prurigo nodularis (PN) has allowed new avenues of treatment for dermatologists.

Dupilumab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) pathways. It had been approved for patients with atopic dermatitis, asthma, and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis.

In an interview with HCPLive this week, the recent FDA approval as well as Eczema Awareness Month were discussed by Dr. Karan Lal, DO, MS, FAAD, the director of pediatric dermatology and cosmetic surgery for Affiliated Dermatology Scottsdale. Lal also works as the social media chair for the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

“We had some great news that we had the FDA approval of dupilumab for the treatment of prurigo nodularis,” Lal said. “If I could tell you the amount of patients in my clinic that have prurigo nodularis, throughout residency, throughout training, it ends up being, actually, a significant portion of my patient population.”

Lal discussed the fact that PN is regarded as a rarer disease, adding that it is more common than often believed. He further described the ways in which many PN patients struggle to lead normal lives due to the symptoms of PN such as itching and skin nodules.

“I’ve been involved as a sub-investigator for some trials for the treatment of prurigo nodularis,” Lal said. “It is so frustrating to see these people come in with blood-stained clothing, they often have to wear black. They can’t wear white or light colors because they scratch so much that blood gets on their clothes.”

He added that, prior to the recent FDA decision, healthcare professionals treating the condition have patients use topical steroids and phototherapy treatments. Both of these types of treatments have some success but they have their limitations and frustrating elements, with phototherapy requiring around 2 to 3 appointments a week. This is why Lal viewed the trial data for dupilumab as so encouraging for dermatologists.

“I think it’s really important to realize that, compared to placebo, 3 times as many patients had clinically meaningful reduction in itch in both of the PRIME1 and PRIME2 studies, and that’s a lot,” Lal added.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Lal above to learn more about this statements on dupilumab’s FDA approval and other new developments.