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New Developments in Atopic Dermatitis

At the recent European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress in Geneva, new evidence was delivered in the management of atopic dermatitis. This included presentations on the effectiveness of antibody-based therapies and the development of new drugs to treat the condition.

Professor Tilo Biedermann classified antibody-based therapies for atopic dermatitis into three groups: not effective, no data, and some data.1. Not effective:

  • Mepolizumab (anti-IL5): patients with high eosinophils may respond
  • Omalizumab (anti-IgE)
  • Rituximab (anti-CD20)
  • Infliximab (anti-TNF)
  • Etanercept (anti-TNF)
  • Ustekinumab (anti-IL12-23): recent paper showing no differences
  • Alefacept
  • Efalizumab
  • Tocilizumab (anti-IL6): effective but increased bacterial infections

2. No data:

  • Anti-IL17
  • Anti-IL22

3. Some data:

  • Nemolizumab (anti-IL31): good response in itch, but inflammation may not be reduced
  • Tralokinumab (antil-IL13): phase 2b showed some response
  • Tezepelumab (anti-TSLP): some effects in asthma
  • Dupilumab (anti-IL4R): EASI 50-80% sustained to 52 weeks. The main side effect is conjunctivitis


In another presentation, Professor Kilian Eyerich discussed new drugs in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. He discussed dupilumab – the first biologic effective in atopic eczema – and JAK inhibitors, including tofacitinib, baricitinib and upadacitinib. Due to the inhibition of some of the JAK pathways, these drugs can cause haematological adverse events.

Other molecules in development include AHR agonists, PDE4 inhibitors and bactetial lysates. In fact, there are more than 630 studies currently ongoing in atopic dermatitis, with 139 still recruiting patients in clinical trial databases.

Read more recent research on atopic dermatitis.


Biedermann, T. & Eyerich, K. (15 & 16 September 2017.) Antibody-based therapies of atopic dermatitis & New drugs for atopic dermatitis. 26th EADV Congress 2017 Conference Review. Research Review. Page 3.

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