The Efficacy of JAK Inhibitors in Atopic Dermatitis

August 4, 2021
Jonathan Alicea

Jonathan Alicea is an assistant editor for HCPLive. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree with English and minors in Linguistics and Theater. He spends his free time writing plays, playing PlayStation, enjoying the company of his 2 pugs, and navigating a right-handed world as a lefty. You can email him at jalicea@mjhlifesciences.com.

Brett King, MD, PhD, compares the efficacy of JAKs with biologics in the atopic dermatitis setting.

As a slate of Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors—upadacitinib, baricitinib, and abrocitinib—await approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, one question that naturally rises to the forefront is their efficacy compared to already approved treatments, such as biologics.

Since its approval in both adult and pediatric populations, dupilumab had offered an effective and safe means for the management of atopic dermatitis. JAKs, of course, would be a welcomed addition to the dermatologist’s arsenal, but an expanded toolbox would mean a shift in the clinician’s prescribing strategies.

One such consideration is the comparability in efficacy between the JAK inhibitors and biologics.

On the most recent episode of Derm Discussions, Brett King, MD, PhD, of Yale School of Medicine, pointed to head-to-head clinical trials that directly compared both drug classes.

In particular, he noted a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine that evaluated abrocitinib alongside dupilumab. Results of this study showed that the JAK was noninferior to the biologic.

These findings, according to King, represent positive news.

“In a world where we have the higher doses and the lower doses of abrocitinib and upadaticinib, we’re going to have a lot of richness in our tool chest,” he said.

“Similar efficacy with dupilumab, in my mind, is a total win.”

Listen to the full podcast episode below:


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