Nemolizumab Reduces Itch, Improves Skin Lesions of Patients with Prurigo Nodularis

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Nearly 40% of patients with prurigo nodularis reached clearance or almost-clearance of skin lesions following treatment with nemolizumab.

Swiss pharmaceutical company Galderma announced new data from a pivotal phase 3 trial indicating that 38% of patients with prurigo nodularis reached clearance or almost-clearance of skin lesion following treatment with nemolizumab.

Meanwhile, 56% of nemolizumab-treated patients achieved a 4-point reduction in itch compared to 21% of placebo patients.

The OLYMPIA 2 trial – the largest clinical program of prurigo nodularis to date- met all primary and key secondary endpoints, indicating that the monotherapy improved skin lesions and pruritus itch compared to placebo in adults with moderate to severe disease.

“Prurigo nodularis is known to have a profoundly negative impact on quality of life with currently no approved therapeutic options,” said Flemming Ørnskov, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer at Galderma. “These phase 3 trial results indicate that nemolizumab has the potetial to be a key therapeutic solution for patients suffering from moderate to severe prurigo nodularis.”

The OLYMPIA 2 trial featured 540 adult patients aged 18 years and older, 274 of whom struggled with prurigo nodularis. Among these patients, approximately 104 experienced improvements in itch and quality of skin lesions.

A second phase 3 trial with a similar structure to OLYMPIA 2 named OLYMPIA 1, is ongoing.

In a recent HCPLive Peer Exchange, Peter A. Lio, MD, of Medical Dermatology Associates in Chicago, Illinois, expressed interest in the potential of nemolizumab for the rare, inflammatory skin condition.

“(Nemolizumab) could be really different and presumably will not have too much of a dampening effect on the immune system,” he said. “It might be a little more of a pure anti-itch [medication], although we know it has an effect in some of the earlier trials we’ve seen on the lesions themselves.”

The treatment is currently approved in Japan for pruritus with atopic dermatitis, and was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the Us Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2019 for the treatment of pruritus associated with prurigo nodularis.