This Drug Shows Efficacy in Patients of Color With Atopic Dermatitis

(HealthDay News) — Lebrikizumab demonstrates improvement in skin clearance and itch relief in patients with skin of color and moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 8 to 12 in San Diego.

Andrew Alexis, M.D., M.P.H., from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted ADmirable, a phase 3b, open-label, 24-week study to evaluate lebrikizumab in adults and adolescents with atopic dermatitis and skin of color. Interim data were presented for 50 patients aged 12 years and older with Fitzpatrick Phototype IV to VI. Self-reported race of the patients was 80 percent Black/African-American, 14 percent Asian, and 6 percent American Indian/Alaska Native. Patients were administered a 500-mg loading dose of lebrikizumab at baseline and week 2 followed by a 250-mg dose every two weeks up until week 16.

The researchers found that at week 16, 68.3 percent of patients achieved a ≥75 percent reduction in the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI 75) and 39.0 percent achieved an Investigator’s Global Assessment of 0 or 1 with ≥2-point improvement. The mean change and percentage change in the EASI were –22.2 and –79.1 percent, respectively; the corresponding changes in the Pruritis Numeric Rating Scale were –4.0 and –53.9 percent. Improvement in mean percentage change for hypopigmented and hyperpigmented lesions was also identified on the PDCA-Derm, a new scale used to describe postinflammatory lesions compared to unaffected skin. No serious adverse events were reported.

“People with skin of color are disproportionately affected by atopic dermatitis, often experiencing more severe symptoms, a delay in diagnosis, and a lengthier timeframe to find appropriate treatment,” Alexis said in a statement. “They also have been historically underrepresented in clinical trials, which means we have lacked data pertaining to the treatment of patients with skin of color. With these initial results, [we are] taking a step toward investigating the needs of people with skin of color affected by atopic dermatitis.”

Several authors disclosed ties to Eli Lilly, which manufactures lebrikizumab and funded the study.

Skin of color requires special attention in dermatology for several reasons. One includes the increased risk of pigmentary disorders in Black and brown skin. Individuals with darker skin tones are more prone to various pigmentary disorders such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, and vitiligo. Skin of color is also more prone to keloid formation.  Keloids are raised scars that extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound. They can be unsightly and may require specialized treatment approaches to manage effectively.

Some conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer may appear differently on skin of color, or be mistaken for other skin conditions, leading to misdiagnosis and delays in treatment.

Also historically, dermatological research has predominantly focused on individuals with lighter skin tones, leading to a lack of data and evidence-based guidelines specifically tailored to the needs of people with skin of color. This gap underscores the importance of increased research and understanding of dermatological conditions in diverse populations.

Press Release

More Information

Read More About Dermatology