Next-generation eczema drugs on pace for 2017 launch
- Efforts by Anacor Pharmaceuticals and the team of Regeneron/Sanofi to develop new, non-steroidal drugs for eczema promise to open up new therapeutics options for treatment of the skin condition, reports The Wall Street Journal.
- Anacor, which was recently acquired by Pfizer for $5.2 billion, expects an FDA decision on its eczema drug crisaborole on or before January 7, 2017. Regeneron and Sanofi, on the other hand, just announced positive topline results on their development drug dupilumab, with an application to the FDA planned for the third quarter.
- Both drugs target underlying pathways thought to lead to the chronic inflammation typical of eczema, possibly offering a safer treatment than the steroids currently used. Eczema affects between 7% to 10% of adults in the U.S., the Journal said.
For years, patients with eczema have been treated with steroids to tamp down the hyperinflammatory process that drives the condition. Steroids broadly affect the body's immune system, however, and can have negative effects over the long term, such as decreased bone density.
Researchers have sought to address the unmet medical need associated with eczema by developing therapies that block different molecules in those inflammatory pathways. Those efforts appear to be bearing fruit for Anacor and Regeneron.
Several other drugs from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and others are also in clinical development.
Anacor's crisaborole is intended to treat patients with mild eczema. In two phase 3 trials, crisaborole showed statistically significant results in clearing eczema symptoms, meeting both its primary and secondary endpoints.
Regneron and Sanofi's dupilumab is aimed at patients with moderate to severe eczema, and has performed well in clinical trials, especially considering the level of difficulty associated with treating advanced forms of the skin condition. In clinical trials, serious eczema-related rashes were cleared up in 38% of affected patients—a fourfold improvement compared with placebo-treated patients, notes The Wall Street Journal.
According to GlobalData, the value of the global eczema market will be $7.3 billion by 2024.
If approved by the FDA in January, Anacor's crisaborole would be first in the door to grab some of that market share, although Regeneron and Sanofi look set to follow in short order next year.