Brian S. Kim, MD, MTR, FAAD Associate Professor of Medicine (Dermatology) Co-Director, Center for the Study of Itch and Sensory Disorders Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO

Atopic Dermatitis – Eczema: Jakafi® (ruxolitinib) Found to Reduce Itch and Improve Quality of Life

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian S. Kim, MD, MTR, FAAD Associate Professor of Medicine (Dermatology) Co-Director, Center for the Study of Itch and Sensory Disorders Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO

Dr. Kim

Brian S. Kim, MD, MTR, FAAD
Associate Professor of Medicine (Dermatology)
Co-Director, Center for the Study of Itch and Sensory Disorders
Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Itch is the central and most debilitating symptom of atopic dermatitis. However, surprisingly, measuring itch or quality of life in clinical trials is not often a primary endpoint. Therefore, this study focuses in very detailed fashion on how ruxolitinib cream improves pruritus in a clinically meaningful way and its ultimate impact on quality of life.

What patients want to know at the end of the day is how much will this drug change my life?  Not, whether it statistically beat out a placebo group. Indeed, what this study shows is that ruxolitinib cream has a major impact on itch in a meaningful way that is also tied to improvements in quality of life.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The key takeaways are the following:

1) Ruxolitinib cream has very rapid and potent anti-itch effects in atopic dermatitis,

2) The improvements in itch associated with treatment are clinically meaningful, and

3) The improvement in itch is strongly associated with improvement in quality of life.

Overall, this means that patients who suffer disproportionately from itch associated with their eczema, can expect to see life-changing effects from this future treatment. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: An interesting area of future research would be to understand whether ruxolitinib’s effect is due to its inhibition of JAKs in neurons versus inflammatory cells. A basic assumption in the field is that JAK inhibitors work via their effects on immune cells directly, however, we believe that the tremendous effect on itch is due to the neuromodulatory properties of the drug. However, this remains to be more directly demonstrated in humans.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: I have worked as a consultant for Incyte and multiple other companies that make JAK inhibitors like AbbVie, Pfizer, and LEO Pharma. I also have a patent pending for the application of JAK inhibitors for pruritus.

Citation:

Effects of ruxolitinib cream on pruritus and quality of life in adult patients with atopic dermatitis: Results from a phase 2, randomized, dose-ranging, vehicle- and active-controlled studyJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 81, Issue 4, AB198

https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(19)31730-X/fulltext

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May 13, 2020 @ 10:38 am

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