Nemolizumab plus topical agents in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and moderate-to-severe pruritus provide improvement in pruritus and signs of AD for up to 68 weeks: results from two phase III, long-term studies

Interleukin (IL)-31 affects the inflammatory response, is involved in epidermal barrier disruption in atopic dermatitis (AD) and plays a key role in pruritus. Nemolizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against IL-31 receptor A, reduced pruritus in patients with AD after a 16-week administration period.

To examine the long-term effectiveness and safety of nemolizumab in patients aged ≥ 13 years with AD and inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe pruritus.

In two long-term phase III studies, nemolizumab 60 mg every 4 weeks (Q4W) was administered subcutaneously, concomitantly with topical treatments. Study-JP01 patients received double-blind nemolizumab or placebo for 16 weeks, and then entered a 52-week extension period in which all patients received nemolizumab (nemolizumab/nemolizumab and placebo/nemolizumab groups). Study-JP02 patients received nemolizumab for 52 weeks. Both studies included an 8-week follow-up period.

Study-JP01 nemolizumab/nemolizumab and placebo/nemolizumab, and Study-JP02 nemolizumab groups comprised 143, 72 and 88 patients, respectively. In the nemolizumab/nemolizumab group, there were clinically meaningful improvements from the start of treatment to week 68 in the pruritus visual analogue scale (66% decrease) and Eczema Area and Severity Index (78% decrease). Quality of life (QoL) indicators improved after the first nemolizumab dose; improvements were maintained during the follow-up period. The long-term safety profile was consistent with previous studies, with no unexpected late-onset adverse events.

Nemolizumab 60 mg Q4W with concomitant topical treatments in patients with AD and inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe pruritus produced a continuous improvement in pruritus, signs of AD, and QoL for up to 68 weeks, with a favourable safety profile.