BERLIN — Tapinarof cream is highly effective, safe, and well tolerated for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults as well as children as young as 2 years of age, according to results of two pivotal trials presented at the at the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
If approved for AD, one advantage of tapinarof cream relative to topical corticosteroids is potential use “without restrictions on duration, extent, or site of application,” reported Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, director of clinical research, George Washington University, Washington.
Tapinarof cream, 1%, an aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist, was approved in 2022 for treating plaque psoriasis in adults.
In the two phase 3 trials, ADORING 1 and ADORING 2, which were presented together at the meeting, the primary endpoint was Validated Investigator Global Assessment (vIGA) for AD of 0 (clear) or 1 (almost clear) at 8 weeks. For this endpoint and all secondary endpoints, the relative advantage of the active cream over the vehicle alone was about the same in both studies.
For example, the vIGA clear or almost clear response was met by 45.4% and 46.4% of those in the experimental arm of ADORING 1 and 2, respectively, but only 13.9% and 18.0% in the control arms (P
For the secondary endpoint of Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI75), signifying 75% clearance of skin lesions, the response rates were 55.8% and 59.1% in the two trials, but only 22.9% and 24.1% in the respective control arms (P
The two identically designed trials randomized patients with moderate to severe AD in a 2:1 ratio to tapinarof cream or vehicle alone. There were 407 patients ages 2-81 years in ADORING I and 406 in ADORING 2. Patients were instructed to apply the active cream or vehicle once per day.
The safety data for tapinarof in these studies was generally consistent with the experience with this agent in plaque psoriasis. According to Silverberg, there was a modest increase in reports of headache early in this study, but these were transient. Follicular events were also more common on tapinarof than on its vehicle, but Silverberg said that the rate of discontinuations for adverse events, although low in both arms, was numerically lower in the active treatment arm in both trials.
“There were reports of contact dermatitis in the psoriasis studies, but we have not seen this in the AD trials,” Silverberg said.
Itch Control Evaluated
In a separate presentation of ADORING 1 and 2 results, Eric Simpson, MD, professor of dermatology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, provided detailed information about itch control, which was evaluated with the Peak Pruritus–Numerical Rating Scale (PP-NRS).
“The PP-NRS considers a person’s worst itch over the past 24 hours based on an 11-point scale,” explained Simpson, who said that patients scored itch daily with comparisons made at weeks 1, 2, 4, and 8.
Over time, pruritus scores fell in both groups, but reductions were far steeper among those in the active treatment arms.
“In ADORING 1, there were greater reductions in itch as early as day 1,” Simpson reported. Although the differences in itch were not detected until day 2 in ADORING 2, the differences were already significant and clinically meaningful in both studies by the end of the first week.
By week 8, the mean reductions in PP-NRS scores were 2.6 and 2.4 in the vehicle arms of ADORING 1 and 2, respectively. In the treatment arm, the reduction was 4.1 points in both arms (P
Forty-Eight-Week Follow-up Planned
More than 90% of patients in both studies have rolled over into the open-label extension ADORING 3 trial, with a planned follow-up of 48 weeks, according to Silverberg, who said that those in the placebo arm have been crossed over to tapinarof.
The response and the safety appear to be similar in adults and children, although Silverberg said that further analyses of outcomes by age are planned. He noted that there is also an ongoing study of tapinarof in children with plaque psoriasis.
In AD in particular, Silverberg said there is “an unmet need” for a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. While topical corticosteroids are a mainstay of AD therapy in children as well as adults, he noted the limitations of these drugs, including that they can only be applied for limited periods.
Adelaide A. Hebert, MD, professor and director of pediatric dermatology, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Houston, has participated in clinical studies of tapinarof for AD, and said she has been impressed with its efficacy and tolerability in children as well as adults. In the case of children, parents, as well as patients, “valued the rapid onset of disease control, the once-daily application regimen, and the itch control,” she said in an interview after the meeting.
If approved, Hebert said, “this novel steroid-free medication has the potential to change the management arena for pediatric and adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.”
The recent introduction of new systemic therapies for AD, such as JAK inhibitors, has increased options for AD control, but “we still need effective and safe topical therapies, especially in children and young adults,” said Sonja Ständer, MD, head of the Interdisciplinary Center for Chronic Pruritus, University of Münster (Germany). Author of a comprehensive review article on AD in the New England Journal of Medicine 2 years ago, Ständer said results from the phase 3 topical tapinarof trials, as well as the phase 3 topical ruxolitinib trials, which were also presented as late breakers at the 2023 EADV meeting, provide “hope that an alternative to topical steroids will soon be available.”
Based on their safety and rapid control of itch in children with AD, “these will complement our current portfolio of topical therapies very well and have the potential to replace topical steroids early in therapy or to replace them altogether,” she told this news organization.
Dermavant Sciences, manufacturer of tapinarof, anticipates filing for Food and Drug Administration approval for AD in the first quarter of 2024, according to a company statement.
Silverberg and Simpson reported financial relationships with multiple pharmaceutical companies, including Dermavant, which provided funding for the ADORING trials. Hebert has financial relationship with more than 15 pharmaceutical companies, including Dermavant and other companies that have or are developing therapies for AD. Ständer reported financial relationships with Beiersdorf, Eli Lilly, Galderma, Kiniksa, Pfizer, and Sanofi.
This story originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
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Publish date : 2023-11-29 00:24:05
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