Efficacy, Safety, and Long-Term Disease Control of Ruxolitinib Cream Among Adolescents with Atopic Dermatitis: Pooled Results from Two Randomized Phase 3 Studies

Lawrence F. Eichenfield*, Eric L. Simpson, Kim Papp, Jacek C. Szepietowski, Andrew Blauvelt, Leon Kircik, Jonathan I Silverberg, Elaine C. Siegfried, Michael E. Kuligowski, May E. Venturanza, Howard Kallender, Haobo Ren, Amy S. Paller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD), a highly pruritic, inflammatory skin disease, affects approximately 7% of adolescents globally. A topical formulation of ruxolitinib, a Janus kinase (JAK) 1/JAK2 inhibitor, demonstrated safety and efficacy among adolescents/adults in two phase 3 studies (TRuE-AD1/TRuE-AD2). Objective: To describe safety and efficacy of 1.5% ruxolitinib cream versus vehicle and long-term disease control of ruxolitinib cream among adolescents aged 12–17 years from pooled phase 3 study data. Methods: Patients [≥ 12 years old with AD for ≥ 2 years, Investigator’s Global Assessment score (IGA) 2/3, and 3–20% affected body surface area (BSA) at baseline] were randomized 2:2:1 to ruxolitinib cream (0.75%/1.5%) or vehicle for 8 weeks of continuous use followed by a long-term safety (LTS) period up to 52 weeks with as-needed use. Patients originally applying vehicle were rerandomized 1:1 to 0.75%/1.5% ruxolitinib cream. Efficacy measures at week 8 included IGA treatment success (IGA-TS; i.e., score of 0/1 with ≥ 2 grade improvement from baseline), ≥ 75% improvement in Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI-75), and ≥ 4-point improvement in itch numerical rating scale (NRS4). Measures of disease control during the LTS period included IGA score of 0 (clear) or 1 (almost clear) and percentage affected BSA. Safety was assessed throughout the study. Results: Of 1249 randomized patients, 245 (19.6%) were aged 12–17 years. Of these, 45 patients were randomized to vehicle and 92 patients to 1.5% ruxolitinib cream. A total of 104/137 (75.9%) patients continued on 1.5% ruxolitinib cream in the LTS period [82/92 (89.1%) continued on 1.5% ruxolitinib cream; 22/45 (48.9%) patients on vehicle were reassigned to 1.5% ruxolitinib cream], and 83/104 (79.8%) of these patients completed the LTS period. At week 8, substantially more patients who applied 1.5% ruxolitinib cream versus vehicle achieved IGA-TS (50.6% versus 14.0%), EASI-75 (60.9% versus 34.9%), and NRS4 (52.1% versus 17.4%; P = 0.009). The mean (SD) reduction in itch NRS scores was significantly greater in patients applying 1.5% ruxolitinib cream versus vehicle from day 2 [− 0.9 (1.9) versus −0.2 (1.4); P = 0.03]. During the LTS period, mean (SD) trough steady-state ruxolitinib plasma concentrations at weeks 12/52 were 27.2 (55.7)/15.5 (31.5) nM. The percentage of patients achieving IGA score of 0 or 1 was sustained or further increased with 1.5% ruxolitinib cream; mean affected BSA was generally low (< 3%; i.e., mild disease). Through 52 weeks, application site reactions occurred in 1.8% of adolescent patients applying 1.5% ruxolitinib cream at any time; no patients had serious adverse events. There were no serious infections, malignancies, major adverse cardiovascular events, or thromboembolic events. Conclusions: Meaningful anti-inflammatory and antipruritic effects were demonstrated with 1.5% ruxolitinib cream in the subset of adolescent patients with AD, comparable with those observed in the overall study population; long-term, as-needed use maintained disease control and was well tolerated. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers NCT03745638 (registered 19 November 2018) and NCT03745651 (registered 19 November 2018).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-683
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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