Author(s): GuttmanYassky E, Dhingra N, Leung DY
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common inflammatory skin disease regulated by genetic and environmental factors. Both skin barrier defects and aberrant immune responses are believed to drive cutaneous inflammation in AD. Existing therapies rely largely on allergen avoidance, emollients and topical and systemic immune-suppressants, some with significant toxicity and transient efficacy; no specific targeted therapies are in clinical use today. As our specific understanding of the immune and molecular pathways that cause different subsets of AD increases, a variety of experimental agents, particularly biologic agents that target pathogenic molecules bring the promise of safe and effective therapeutics for long-term use. AREAS COVERED: This paper discusses the molecular pathways characterizing AD, the contributions of barrier and immune abnormalities to its pathogenesis, and development of new treatments that target key molecules in these pathways. In this review, we will discuss a variety of biologic therapies that are in development or in clinical trials for AD, perhaps revolutionizing treatment of this disease. EXPERT OPINION: Biologic agents in moderate to severe AD offer promise for controlling a disease that currently lacks good and safe therapeutics posing a large unmet need. Unfortunately, existing treatments for AD aim to decrease cutaneous inflammation, but are not specific for the pathways driving this disease. An increasing understanding of the immune mechanisms underlying AD brings the promise of narrow targeted therapies as has occurred for psoriasis, another inflammatory skin disease, for which specific biologic agents have been demonstrated to both control the disease and prevent occurrence of new skin lesions. Although no biologic is yet approved for AD, these are exciting times for active therapeutic development in AD that might lead to revolutionary therapeutics for this disease.
This article was published in Expert Opin Biol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Dermatitis