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Opzelura Provides Benefit in Atopic Dermatitis in Real-World Studies | AAD 2024

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Physicians switch to Opzelura (ruxolitinib) when other therapies fail to help patients with atopic dermatitis, according to a new analysis presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Physicians often switch patients with atopic dermatitis to Opzelura (ruxolitinib) cream when other treatments donot control the disease, according to a poster presented at the 2024 annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in San Diego.

Developed by Incyte Corp., Opzelura is a topical nonsteroidal that was approved in September 2021 to treat patients 12 years and older with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis in September 2021. It is a selective JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor. It was also approved in July 2022 for patients 12 years and older with vitiligo.

The wholesale acquisition cost of Opzelura is $2,045 per tube. Eligible patients with commercial coverage for Opzelura may pay as little as $0 per tube. Patients whose coverage does not include the drug can pay $35 per prescription, but must go to participating pharmacies.

Opzelura generated net revenue of $338 million in 2023, up 162% from 2022. Company officials said this was driven by strong demand in atopic dermatitis and the launch in vitiligo

Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D.

Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D.

Investigators wanted to assess physicians’ reported real-world experience with Opzelura in patients with atopic dermatitis. Led by Lawrence F. Eichenfield, M.D., professor of clinical dermatology at the University of California, San Diego, researchers assessed data from the Adelphi AD Disease Specific Programme, a cross-sectional survey of physicians in the United States. The survey was conducted between August 2022 and March 2023, and physicians provided data from medical records.

Of the 149 patients identified who were treated with Opzelura for atopic dermatitis, 36 patients switched from another therapy. In the survey, 33.3% of physicians indicated they made the switch because of a lack of efficacy of the previous therapy, and 30.6% indicated that a lack of disease control with previous therapy was the reason for the switch to Opzelura. Additionally, 27.8% said patients requested the change. After patients switched to Opzelura, most achieved improved disease and 62.7% had achieved improvement based on the Investigator’s Global Assessment.

"This study shows the usefulness of ruxolitinib cream as monotherapy in AD [atopic deramtitis], and we know that in practice, we may be using it in regimens of care along with other topical or systemic agents, working to maintain disease control in this chronic and heterogenous disease," Eichenfield said.

In a separate poster presentation, researchers found that within six months after starting Opzelura, there was a decrease in the use of other treatments for atopic dermatitis. In this story, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of claims data from the Healthcare Integrated Research Database.

A total of 1,581 patients with atopic dermatitis were included in the analysis. In the six-month follow-up period, 72% of these patients did not receive another treatment for atopic dermatitis after initiation with Opzelura. Additionally, the use of corticosteroids decreased from 20.9% of patients to 15.5% in the follow-up period. Of the 298 patients who had previously received biologics to treat their atopic dermatitis before starting Opzelura, 52 did not continue with the biologic. Among those who had never used a biologic, 90% did not initiate biologic treatment during the six month after starting Opzelura.

"These findings suggest that ruxolitinib cream may reduce the need for other AD medications, such as topical and oral steroids and injectable biologics, in this patient population," said Jinan Liu, senior director of health economics and outcomes tesearch at Incyte.

Opzelura is also being studied in children 2 to 12 years of age with atopic dermatitis. A phase 3 study in this patient population met its primary endpoint. Fifty-six percent (56.5%) of patients treated with Opzelura cream 1.5% and 36.6% treated with Opzelura cream 0.75% achieved success at week eight compared with 10.8% of patients treated with vehicle. Success was determined by the Investigator’s Global Assessment Treatment Success score.

Additionally, 67.2% of patients treated with Opzelura cream 1.5% and 51.5% treated with Opzelura 0.75% at week eight compared with vehicle on the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI75) score.

These data were shared at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress 2023.

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