Dupixent® (dupilumab) Approved by European Commission as First and Only Targeted Medicine for Children as Young as Six Months Old with Severe Atopic Dermatitis
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi today announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved Dupixent (dupilumab) in the European Union (EU) to treat severe atopic dermatitis in children aged 6 months to 5 years old who are candidates for systemic therapy. With this approval, Dupixent is the first and only targeted medicine indicated to treat these young children in Europe and the U.S.
“Watching an infant or young child grapple with the debilitating and wide-reaching impacts of severe atopic dermatitis is heartbreaking,” said Korey Capozza, MPH, Founder and Executive Director of Global Parents for Eczema Research (GPER). “I’ve personally witnessed how this chronic skin disease can disrupt the lives of entire families when left uncontrolled. Intervening with effective treatments during infancy and early childhood can help manage the challenging impact this disease has on children and their families during such formative years.”
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic type 2 inflammatory skin disease. Between 85% and 90% of patients first develop symptoms before 5 years of age, which can often continue through adulthood. Symptoms include intense, persistent itch and skin lesions that cover much of the body, resulting in skin dryness, cracking, pain, redness or darkening, crusting and oozing, which can increase the risk of skin infection. Severe atopic dermatitis may also significantly impact the quality of life of young children and their caregivers. Treatment options in this age group are primarily topical corticosteroids (TCS), which can be associated with safety risks and may impair growth when used long-term.
“No infant or child should have to spend their earliest days suffering with the intense and unrelenting itch and skin pain of atopic dermatitis,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron, and a principal inventor of Dupixent. “Too often the parents and caregivers of children with severe atopic dermatitis are left desperate for new treatments to manage this chronic disease. In the pivotal trial, Dupixent reduced itch and skin pain, and improved health-related quality of life and sleep quality. Dupixent is currently being used to treat more than 600,000 patients around the world across approved indications. This latest EU approval brings the proven efficacy and, importantly, the long-term safety profile of Dupixent to this particularly vulnerable population.”
“A vast majority of people with atopic dermatitis begin to develop symptoms during their earliest, most vulnerable years, and these symptoms can often continue through the rest of their lives. With this latest approval, Dupixent is the first-ever biologic medicine for people living with atopic dermatitis from infancy to adulthood,” said Naimish Patel, M.D., Head of Global Development, Immunology and Inflammation at Sanofi. “Given its well-established safety and efficacy profile, Dupixent has the potential to transform the landscape for people of all ages living with atopic dermatitis. We remain committed to exploring Dupixent for the treatment of other chronic inflammatory skin diseases.”
The approval is based on data from a Phase 3 trial evaluating Dupixent every four weeks (200 mg or 300 mg based on body weight) plus low-potency TCS or TCS alone (placebo) in 162 children aged 6 months to 5 years with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. At 16 weeks, Dupixent improved skin clearance and reduced overall disease severity and itch compared to placebo in the overall enrolled population. In a subset of those with severe atopic dermatitis, patients randomized to Dupixent (n=63) experienced the following compared to placebo (n=62) at 16 weeks:
- 46% of patients achieved 75% or greater improvement in overall disease severity compared to 7% treated with placebo, a co-primary endpoint.
- 14% of patients achieved clear or almost clear skin compared to 2% treated with placebo, a co-primary endpoint.
- 55% average reduction in overall disease severity from baseline compared to 10% with placebo.
- 42% average reduction in itch from baseline compared to a 1% increase with placebo.
Dupixent also improved sleep quality, skin pain and health-related quality of life compared to placebo in both the overall and severe populations. Long-term efficacy data showed the clinical benefit at 16 weeks was sustained through 52 weeks.
The most common side effects across indications include injection site reactions, conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis allergic, arthralgia, oral herpes and eosinophilia. The safety results of the 6 months to 5 years old trial were generally consistent with the known safety profile of Dupixent in its approved indications; in the trial, adverse events more commonly observed (≥5%) with Dupixent compared to placebo included eosinophilia and conjunctivitis. The long-term safety profile through 52 weeks was similar to the safety profile observed at 16 weeks, and consistent with what was observed in older patients with atopic dermatitis.
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