New treatment approved for mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis

A new cream for the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis (also commonly called eczema) was recently approved by the FDA. The generic name of the medication is ruxolitinib, and the trade name is Opzelura®. Typical treatments for eczema patients are dominated by topical steroids, such as triamcinolone cream, which patients will often use for many years, sometimes never being offered any alternative treatments. Opzelura® cream is not a steroid (like triamcinolone), but it was shown in clinical trials to work as well as what one would expect from topical steroids. Importantly, Opzelura® cream was also not associated with problems normally associated with topical steroid use, like thinning of the skin and loss of response over time. Dr. Andrew Blauvelt, President of Oregon Medical Research Center (OMRC), also has served as an advisor to Incyte, the makers of Opzelura® cream, and has co-authored scientific publications on this new medication. OMRC greatly thanks the patients at our site who participated in the Opzelura® trials, and thus helped to bring this exciting new drug to the market for others.

The Psoriasis Pipeline

Recently, Dr. Andy Blauvelt, President of Oregon Medical Research Center (OMRC), was interviewed by the American Academy of Dermatology regarding upcoming drugs that will likely become available soon to treat psoriasis. Dr. Blauvelt, an international expert in psoriasis, has experience using all of these medications while participating in clinical trials for these drugs at OMRC. The article appeared in Dermatology World, a publication sent out to and read by most dermatologists in the country. Psoriasis Pipeline_ 08_21_DermWorld

(Article reprinted with permission from Dermatology World)

Clinical Trial Evaluating New Eczema Drug Shows Promising Results

Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a common skin disease that significantly impacts quality of life. One of the most distressing symptoms of this disease is itching, which can often lead to disruption of the skin barrier and skin infection. OMRC recently participated in a 16-week study evaluating a new treatment for AD, called lebrikizumab, which is given by injection under the skin. Lebrikizumab blocks one protein in the body, interleukin 13, that is believed to be critical for causing AD. AD patients receiving lebrikizumab showed rapid improvement in both skin lesions and patient-reported itch. The study participants receiving the highest dose of lebrikizumab reported the most benefits, including significant reduction in itching as early as 2 days after the first injection. Furthermore, this new drug proved very safe over 16 weeks of treatment. More long-term AD studies with lebrikizumab are currently underway at OMRC and around the country. If positive, the drug may be approved and on the market for widespread use as early as 2022. Of note, Dr. Andrew Blauvelt, President of OMRC, is an author on this recent lebrikizumab publication.

Read the full study publication here: 


Relief for Genital Psoriasis

Yes, let’s talk “genital psoriasis,” even though many people don’t want to talk about it. Genital psoriasis, in both women and men, is hard to talk about, hard to treat, and has a big impact on intimate relationships as well as normal daily functioning. Up to 40% of psoriasis patients report lesions in the genital area. The good news is that a treatment, ixekizumab (Taltz), has been FDA-approved for genital psoriasis. More than 70% of patients treated for 3 months did well after starting this medication and responses were maintained for up to 1 year of continued treatment. I’m happy to say that the clinical research team at OMRC was key in bringing this study forward, completing it, and analyzing the data for publication. So, the bottom line is, don’t hide the fact that you may have genital psoriasis, but instead, ask your doctor about the possibility of effectively treating this often troubling and overlooked area of the body.

Comparison study shows efficacy of new targets

Several recent clinical trials in patients with moderate‐to‐severe psoriasis have demonstrated that inhibitors targeting IL‐17 and IL‐23 can offer patients high levels of skin clearance.

The IXORA‐R trial focuses on early responses to treatment. Because patients have indicated that rapid, complete clearance of psoriasis is a priority, the primary endpoint of IXORA‐R is complete clearance at Week 12, as measured by a 100% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI 100). Patients with moderate‐to‐severe plaque psoriasis were randomized 1:1 to receive either ixekizumab, brand name “Taltz,” an IL‐17 inhibitor, or guselkumab, brand name “Tremfya,” an IL‐23 inhibitor, at the approved doses. As of Week 12, the study findings demonstrate clinically meaningful and statistically significant differences in results for ixekizumab versus guselkumab in complete clearance (PASI 100) at Week 12. The rapid response of ixekizumab was demonstrated as early as Week 1. Additionally, ixekizumab treatment led to more rapid achievement of improved quality of life and resolved itch more rapidly than guselkumab. The safety profiles of ixekizumab and guselkumab were consistent with previous phase 3 studies of the drugs.