Author(s): Fridman JS, Scherle PA, Collins R, Burn T, Neilan CL,
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Abstract JAKs are required for signaling initiated by several cytokines (e.g., IL-4, IL-12, IL-23, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), and IFNγ) implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD). Direct antagonism of cytokines, such as IL-12 and IL-23 using ustekinumab, has proven effective in randomized studies in psoriasis patients. We hypothesized that local inhibition of cytokine signaling using topical administration of INCB018424, a small molecule inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK2, would provide benefit similar to systemic cytokine neutralization. In cellular assays, INCB018424 inhibits cytokine-induced JAK/signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) signaling and the resultant production of inflammatory proteins (e.g., IL-17, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and IL-22) in lymphocytes and monocytes, with half-maximal inhibitory concentration values <100 nM. In vivo, topical application of INCB018424 resulted in suppression of STAT3 phosphorylation, edema, lymphocyte infiltration, and keratinocyte proliferation in a murine contact hypersensitivity model and inhibited tissue inflammation induced by either intradermal IL-23 or TSLP. Topical INCB018424 was also well tolerated in a 28-day safety study in Gottingen minipigs. These results suggest that localized JAK1/JAK2 inhibition may be therapeutic in a range of inflammatory skin disorders such as psoriasis and AD. Clinical evaluation of topical INCB018424 is ongoing.
This article was published in J Invest Dermatol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry