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Tapinarof effective for AD in patients as young as 2 years



Tapinarof cream is highly effective, safe, and well tolerated for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults as well as children as young as 2 years of age, according to results of two pivotal trials presented at the at the annual congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

If approved for AD, one advantage of tapinarof cream relative to topical corticosteroids is potential use “without restrictions on duration, extent, or site of application,” reported Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, director of clinical research, George Washington University, Washington.

Tapinarof cream, 1%, an aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist, was approved in 2022 for treating plaque psoriasis in adults.

Dr. Jonathan I. Silverberg, director of clinical research in the department of dermatology at George Washington University, Washington

Dr. Jonathan I. Silverberg

In the two phase 3 trials, ADORING 1 and ADORING 2, which were presented together at the meeting, the primary endpoint was Validated Investigator Global Assessment (vIGA) for AD of 0 (clear) or 1 (almost clear) at 8 weeks. For this endpoint and all secondary endpoints, the relative advantage of the active cream over the vehicle alone was about the same in both studies.

For example, the vIGA clear or almost clear response was met by 45.4% and 46.4% of those in the experimental arm of ADORING 1 and 2, respectively, but only 13.9% and 18.0% in the control arms (P < .0001 for both).

For the secondary endpoint of Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI75), signifying 75% clearance of skin lesions, the response rates were 55.8% and 59.1% in the two trials, but only 22.9% and 24.1% in the respective control arms (P < .0001 for both).

The two identically designed trials randomized patients with moderate to severe AD in a 2:1 ratio to tapinarof cream or vehicle alone. There were 407 patients ages 2-81 years in ADORING I and 406 in ADORING 2. Patients were instructed to apply the active cream or vehicle once per day.

The safety data for tapinarof in these studies was generally consistent with the experience with this agent in plaque psoriasis. According to Dr. Silverberg, there was a modest increase in reports of headache early in this study, but these were transient. Follicular events were also more common on tapinarof than on its vehicle, but Dr. Silverberg said that the rate of discontinuations for adverse events, although low in both arms, was numerically lower in the active treatment arm in both trials.

“There were reports of contact dermatitis in the psoriasis studies, but we have not seen this in the AD trials,” Dr. Silverberg said.

Itch control evaluated

In a separate presentation of ADORING 1 and 2 results, Eric Simpson, MD, professor of dermatology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, provided detailed information about itch control, which was evaluated with the Peak Pruritus–Numerical Rating Scale (PP-NRS).

Eric Simpson, MD, professor of dermatology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, speaking at the 2023 EADV Congress Ted Bosworth/MDedge News

Dr. Eric Simpson

“The PP-NRS considers a person’s worst itch over the past 24 hours based on an 11-point scale,” explained Dr. Simpson, who said that patients scored itch daily with comparisons made at weeks 1, 2, 4, and 8.

Over time, pruritus scores fell in both groups, but reductions were far steeper among those in the active treatment arms.

“In ADORING 1, there were greater reductions in itch as early as day 1,” Dr. Simpson reported. Although the differences in itch were not detected until day 2 in ADORING 2, the differences were already significant and clinically meaningful in both studies by the end of the first week.

By week 8, the mean reductions in PP-NRS scores were 2.6 and 2.4 in the vehicle arms of ADORING 1 and 2, respectively. In the treatment arm, the reduction was 4.1 points in both arms (P < .0001 for both studies).


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