Physician Views preview: JAK developers eye up atopic dermatitis – are dermatologists eager to use?

Three oral JAK inhibitors (AbbVie’s Rinvoq, Eli Lilly’s Olumiant and Pfizer’s abrocitinib) could be approved by the FDA as treatments for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis by mid-2021.

The success of Sanofi and Regeneron’s Dupixent has made this a highly attractive market opportunity. Launched in 2017, global sales of the IL-4/IL-13 targeted monoclonal antibody amounted to $3.5 billion last year, positioning Dupixent as the industry’s fourth fastest growth driver.

Potentially offsetting some of this opportunity for the JAK inhibitors is the shadow cast by recently announced safety data for another drug in the class, Pfizer’s Xeljanz.

This showed higher rates of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and malignancies associated with both the 5mg and 10mg doses of Xeljanz versus the TNF inhibitor Humira when used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Full results have yet to be published and it remains to be seen what action regulators take. A key opinion leader we recently engaged with said withdrawing Xeljanz from the market would be unjustified but did suggest that other JAK inhibitors may be viewed as being “guilty by association” unless separate outcomes data proves otherwise.

In the meantime we are running a short survey to dermatologists (based in the US and key European markets) asking the following questions about potential future use of JAK inhibitors to treat atopic dermatitis…

A number of oral JAK inhibitors are awaiting regulatory approval for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. Based on your knowledge about these agents, what is the likelihood of you prescribing one or more of these products in the future?


In what settings would you expect to prescribe an oral JAK inhibitor?


Will new safety data for Xeljanz make you more cautious about using any other, future-approved JAK inhibitors for the treatment of atopic dermatitis?


Do you think that oral JAK inhibitors should be approved for atopic dermatitis in light of these safety findings?


Some key opinion leaders have suggested that oral JAK inhibitors could be used as short-term induction therapies prior to initiation of Dupixent (dupilumab). Would you consider this approach under any circumstances?


Results and related analysis will shortly be published for FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to read, with the opportunity for non-FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to purchase these findings. To be notified when poll results and analysis become available, please click here

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