This article is part of Pulmonology Advisor‘s coverage of the ACAAI 2018 meeting, taking place in Seattle, Washington. Our staff will report on medical research related to allergy, asthma, and more conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ACAAI 2018.

SEATTLE — Upadacitinib, a selective janus kinase-1 inhibitor, was associated with early improvements in pruritus when administered for 16 weeks at once-daily 7.5 mg, 15 mg, or 30 mg in patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD), according to research findings presented at the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology held in Seattle, November 15-19, 2018.

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Adult patients with moderate-to-severe AD who were either contraindicated for topical treatment or whose disease was not adequately controlled by topical treatment were enrolled in this clinical trial (N=166; Identifier: NCT02925117). Overall, patients presented with an Eczema Area and Severity Index score of ≥16, a body surface area of ≥10%, and an Investigator Global Assessment Scale score of ≥3. Researchers randomly assigned patients to receive either once-daily upadacitinib 7.5 mg (n=42), 15 mg (n=42), or 30 mg (n=42) or placebo (n=40).

The Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) Itch Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) itch score (question #1), and pruritus Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) were used to assess changes in patient-reported pruritus. By week 16, the mean improvement from baseline in the SCORAD Itch VAS (range 0-10) was significantly greater in patients randomly assigned to receive upadacitinib 7.5 mg vs placebo (P <.05). In addition, patients reported significantly greater pruritus improvements in the 15 mg (P >.05) and 30 mg (P =.05) groups compared with placebo.

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According to the researchers, “the positive benefit/risk profile of upadacitinib supports proceeding to phase 3 trials in AD.”

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Beck L, Hong C, Hu X, et al. Upadacitinib effect on pruritus in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis; from a phase 2B randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Presented at: the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; November 15-19, 2018; Seattle, WA. Abstract D500.