What Ruxolitinib Cream Meant For Dermatology in 2022

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As 2022 concludes, a dermatologist reflects on the first drug approved for vitiligo.

As the days of 2022 dwindle away, we’re taking some time to reflect on the biggest stories, events and trends to highlight medical specialties through the last 12 months. The annual series, This Year in Medicine, is currently running on our home page, and you can follow along on our social media and newsletter channels as well.

In the spirit of annual reflection, today’s episode is a rerun of a prior conversation we had this year with Brett King, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. Few pharmaceutical developments and subsequent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals this year matched the excitement and importance of ruxolitinib cream, as the first therapy approved to treat patients with the chronic skin condition vitiligo.

Supported by a phase 3 clinical program portfolio that included data showing capability to actually repigment skin with the twice-daily JAK inhibitor, ruxolitinib cream was quickly regarded as a landmark breakthrough in dermatologic care—and representative of a promising drug class still in investigation across a litany of other chronic skin diseases.

This conversation with King comes on the heels of an HCPLive State of Science Summit panel he chaired this fall, during which the dominating topic of discussion among he and his peers was ruxolitinib cream. Here we return to King’s thoughts on how the one and only vitiligo drug altered dermatology in 2022.