HealthDay News — Dupilumab, the fully monoclonal antibody that blocks interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, is effective in atopic dermatitis, according to researchers.

“The blockade by dupilumab of these key drivers of type 2 helper T-cell (Th2)–mediated inflammation could help in the treatment of related diseases, including atopic dermatitis,” wrote Lisa A. Beck, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, and colleagues in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Adult patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis despite receiving topical glucocorticoids and calcineurin inhibitors were involved in the study. Two four-week trials and one 12-week trial assessed dupilumab as monotherapy, while another four-week trial assessed the agent in combination with topical glucocorticoids.

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Dupilumab resulted in rapid, dose-dependent improvements in clinical indexes, biomarker levels, and the transcriptome in the four-week monotherapy studies, the inspectors reported. These findings were reproduced and extended in the 12-week dupilumab monotherapy study, with a 50% reduction in the Eczema Area and Severity Index score (EASI-50) seen in 85% of patients in the dupilumab group compared with 35% of those in the placebo group.

In addition, significantly more patients in the dupilumab group had a score of 0 to 1 on the investigators’ global assessment (P<0.001) (indicating clearing or near-clearing of skin lesions) and a decrease in pruritus scores (P<0.001). In the combination study, the criterion for EASI-50 was met by 100% of patients in the dupilumab group and 50% in the placebo group (P=0.002).

“Patients treated with dupilumab had marked and rapid improvement in all the evaluated measures of atopic dermatitis disease activity,” reported the researchers.


  1. Beck L et al. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014; doi: 1056/NEJMoa1314768