Shawn Kwatra, MD: Discussing New Phase 3 Data on Nemolizumab for Prurigo Nodularis


In this interview, Dr. Kwatra explored the recent phase 3 data from the Olympia 2 study on nemolizumab treatment for patients with prurigo nodularis.

Shawn Kwatra, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, spoke with the editorial team at HCPLive about new findings from the Olympia 2 trial on nemolizumab treatment for patients with prurigo nodularis (PN).

Kwatra went into some of his team’s findings on the drug for patients with PN, noting that they met all primary and key secondary endpoints. The trial indicated that nemolizumab monotherapy substantially and rapidly improvex itch and skin lesions in PN, with clinically meaningful improvements seen as early as 4 weeks.

“So this was a global trial, and it was a phase 3, multinational double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial that was meant to evaluate the efficacy and safety of nemolizumab,” Kwatra said. “Actually, this is historical, I would say, because this is the largest phase 3 clinical trial ever conducted in patients who have prurigo nodularis. This is a long-suffering group.”

Kwatra further explored some of the results of his team’s work from Olympia 2.

“So 56.3% of patients, versus 20% of placebo, actually reached that metric of 4-point or greater improvement,” Kwatra explained. “...I will point out, this is an early time point. This is week 16. So we already had almost 60% of patients meeting that improvement and itch intensity, and folks are meeting that 4-point improvement.”

Kwatra added that the natural history of PN is that itch improves first, and this is then followed by nodules improvement.

“So what's interesting here is we're seeing that both the percentage of people who were achieving its response continues to be improving at that 16 week mark, and the percentage of individuals who are reaching that IGA 0-1 mark are also increasing,” he said. “But what's so special here about this data is the rapidity and just how quick nemolizumab works. And it ties back to the mechanism of action.”

Kwatra explained that his team, in the coming months, is going to learn more about this drug and how it fits into the treatment paradigm of PN.

“This is a very difficult to treat population, traditionally, since they have so many disease comorbidities,” he said. “This is important, that there are agents that are more targeted, as well. So this is really significant data.”

For further information on Kwatra’s team’s findings, view the full interview video above.

The quotes used here were edited for the purposes of clarity.

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