FDA approves new eczema drug Dupixent

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dupixent, an injection to treat adults with moderate to severe eczema, according to a press release submitted March 28 by the administration.

Eczema is a general term for different types of atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema and usually starts in childhood, continuing through adulthood. Typically caused by genetic, immune and environmental factors, a person with atopic dermatitis gets red, scaly and extremely itchy bumps on their skin.

Dupixent is meant for adults whose eczema can’t be controlled by topical therapies or cannot use topical therapies for other reasons. In three placebo-controlled clinical trials, 2,119 adults whose moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis could not be treated well by topical therapies participated. The studies lasted 16 weeks.

Those who got Dupixent generally had better responses compared to the participants who did not receive the injection. The Dupixent patients saw their skin clear and their itching reduced after 16 weeks, according to the press release. The list price of the drug is $37,000 yearly.

Side effects such as allergic reactions and eye problems occurred when taking Dupixent. The FDA granted the application for Dupixent Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy designation. Long term issues were not known.

Written by: Katherine Heighway | Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Carlson, M.D.