Shawn Kwatra, MD: Trial Data for Nemolizumab Monotherapy on Prurigo Nodularis

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Kwatra spoke about his team’s research into nemolizumab for prurigo nodularis in the OLYMPIA 2 trial, including the data and its implications for the future.

Shawn Kwatra, MD, spoke in a recent HCPLive interview regarding his team’s results from the OLYMPIA 2 study on nemolizumab monotherapy for prurigo nodularis (PN).1

Kwatra had presented this late-breaking trial data at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2023 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. He is known for his work as an associate professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and as the director of the Johns Hopkins Itch Center.

Kwatra’s team’s results had demonstrated that nemolizumab monotherapy improved skin lesions, sleep disturbance, and itch for PN patients, with each primary and key secondary endpoint being met and showing statistical significance.

“So prurigo nodularis has been a condition for many, many years that hasn't had many therapies available,” he explained. “And we've seen many new therapeutics for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. But really, it's time for prurigo nodularis to enter primetime.”

PN, a debilitating neuroimmune skin condition known for itch and skin lesions, was deemed important to look into for further treatment options. Nemolizumab is a first-in-its-class interleukin-31 receptor alpha antagonist known to downregulate key pathways for PN.

“Nemolizumab met its primary endpoint, in terms of the folks who reached a 4-point or greater improvement in itch compared to placebo at week 16,” Kwatra said. “They also had improvements in sleep disturbance. So that was significant. And it also mirrored the improvement in itch. And finally, there was improvement in skin lesions.”

Kwatra added that what he found incredible was the degree of itch reduction that occurred for patients after just one injection of the drug. Specifically, over 40% of the participants had at least a 4 point reduction in itch on a scale of 0 to 10.

“We're going to eagerly anticipate the results of OLYMPIA 1, which is the other large phase 3 trial that was actually conducted for a primary endpoint also at week 24,” he explained. “So we're going to be able to see a little bit longer time period, to see exactly how the drug works in that setting, especially the effects on nodule resolution.”

To find out more about the research, view the full interview listed above.

References

  1. Kwatra S, et al. Nemolizumab monotherapy improves itch, skin lesions, and sleep disturbance in patients with prurigo nodularis: Results from a phase 3 trial (OLYMPIA 2). Paper presented at: American Academy of Dermatology 2023 Annual Meeting; March 17-21, 2023. New Orleans, LA. Accessed March 18, 2023.
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