Peter Lio, MD: The Atopic Dermatitis Treatment Landscape in 2021

March 26, 2021

An expert discusses new and emerging therapies for atopic dermatitis.

Recent months have signaled a promising new era in the realm of atopic dermatitis. Biologics like dupilumab are already on the market for patients as young as 6 years of age, and Janise kinase (JAK) inhibitors promise to revolutionize the treatment landscape.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for atopic dermatitis,” said Peter Lio, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology & Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a recent interview with HCPLive®

He expressed optimism for new drugs coming down the pipeline, some of which may receive a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval within the next few months.

“This is after an incredibly long drought,” Lio noted, pointing to the far and few approvals, especially when compared with innovations in psoriasis.

In 2016, topical crisaborole (Eucrisa) was approved for atopic dermatitis, followed by biologic dupilumab (Dupixent) in 2017. Of course, not all patients will experience relief or improvement with these agents.

Therefore, new and effective options are needed.

Soon, patients and providers may be able to add JAK inhibitors (such as abrocitinib, baricitinib, and upadacitnib), new biologics (lebrikizumab, tralokinumab, nemolizumab, etc.), and new/revolutionary topical agents (ruxolitinib, roflumilast, delgocitinib, tapinarof, etc.), to their official treatment toolbox.

“We’re going to have all these medicines to think about,” Lio said. “We’re trying to now sort them out and figure out which is going to be the best for which patient, how we’re going to use them, and really get a sense of them once they come out on the market.”


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