New dermatitis treatment shows promising long-term results

A woman scratching her skin

A novel, patient-tailored monoclonal antibody therapy has shown promise in treating moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. 

Patients who participated in a clinical trial of rocatinlimab showed positive results while taking the drug and up to 20 weeks after stopping therapy, Mount Sinai researchers have reported in The Lancet. 

The researchers said the results indicate that rocatinlimab has the potential to change the genetic makeup of a person’s atopic dermatitis for the long term, and possibly help sustain lasting results without continued use of the medication.  

Rocatinlimab inhibits OX40 – an immune molecule involved in activating inflammatory cells that play a key role in the development of atopic dermatitis and other inflammatory diseases.  

“Atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema, is a debilitating chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects 1 in 10 Americans and millions of people worldwide,” said Emma Guttman, Waldman Professor and System Chair, The Kimberly and Eric J Waldman Department of Dermatology; Director, Center of Excellence in Eczema; and Director, Laboratory of Inflammatory Skin Diseases, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  

“It often develops at a very young age, causing the skin to become inflamed, red, extremely itchy, painful, and very dry – all symptoms that greatly affect a patient’s quality of life. We are very optimistic about the results of this trial and the potential for disease modification and long-lasting effects to improve patients’ quality of life.” 

Clinical trial details

In the international Phase IIb study, 274 patients were recruited and randomly assigned 1:1:1:1:1 to rocatinlimab every four weeks (150mg or 600mg) or every two weeks (300 mg or 600 mg) or subcutaneous placebo up to week 18, with an 18-week active-treatment extension and 20-week follow-up. 

Percent change from baseline in the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score was assessed as the primary endpoint at week 16, and significance versus placebo was achieved with all active rocatinlimab doses (-48% to -61) doses compared to placebo (-15%). All active dose cohorts also continued improving after week 16, and most patients maintained the response for at least 20 weeks off-treatment.  

Future studies will also include a larger study population, longer follow-up, and exploration of combination therapy (such as rocatinlimab plus topical corticosteroids).  

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