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Lebrikizumab gets European nod for treating moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis


The European Commission has approved lebrikizumab for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in patients aged 12 years and older who have failed topical therapies, according to a press release from the manufacturer.

Lebrikizumab, which selectively targets interleukin-13 and inhibits its signaling pathway, will first be available in Germany, with a rollout in other European countries expected through 2024, according to Almirall, the manufacturer.

The European approval of lebrikizumab (Ebglyss) was based on data from a trio of pivotal phase 3 studies including ADvocate1 and ADvocate2, which evaluated lebrikizumab as monotherapy, and ADhere, which evaluated lebrikizumab in combination with topical corticosteroids. All three trials included adult and adolescent patients aged 12 years and older with moderate-to-severe AD.

In the two ADvocate studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, participants were randomized to a 250-mg injection of lebrikizumab or placebo every 2 weeks. The primary outcome was a score of clear or almost clear skin based on the Investigator’s Global Assessment with at least a 2-point reduction from baseline to 16 weeks.

Compared with placebo, lebrikizumab showed significant clinical efficacy in both studies. In study 1, 43.1% of 283 patients treated with lebrikizumab versus 12.7% of 141 patients on placebo met the primary endpoint (P < .001), as did 33.2% of the 281 patients on lebrikizumab and 10.8% of 146 patients on placebo in study 2 (P < .001). In addition, 58.8% and 52.1% of patients on lebrikizumab in studies 1 and 2, respectively, met the secondary endpoint of a 75% reduction in the Eczema Area and Severity Index score (EASI-75), versus 16.2% and 18.1% of patients on placebo in study 1 and 2, respectively (P < .001 for both).

In the ADhere study, published in JAMA Dermatology, 41.2% of patients receiving a lebrikizumab/corticosteroid combination and 22.1% of those randomized to a placebo/corticosteroid combination met the primary endpoint of IGA scores of 0 or 1 at 16 weeks, and nearly 70% patients treated with a combination of lebrikizumab and topical corticosteroids achieved EASI-75, compared with 42% of those on the combination.

Nearly 80% of patients who responded at 16 weeks and continued treatment with lebrikizumab as monotherapy or combination therapy showed sustained results up to 52 weeks with maintenance monthly dosing, according to the Almirall press release.

Most adverse events across the studies were mild or moderate and were not associated with treatment discontinuation. The most common adverse reactions were conjunctivitis, injection site reactions, allergic conjunctivitis, and dry eye.

Further research has shown showed clinical efficacy and safety in patients who used lebrikizumab for up to 2 years, either as monotherapy or in combination with topical corticosteroids, according to the manufacturer.

Lebrikizumab remains under review in the United States after the Food and Drug Administration issued a complete response letter in October regarding findings made during an inspection of a third-party contract manufacturer that included the “monoclonal antibody drug substance” for lebrikizumab, although no concerns about clinical data or safety were raised, Eli Lilly announced in October. Eli Lilly has the rights to develop lebrikizumab in the United States and the rest of the world excluding Europe.

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