Two new atopic dermatitis biologics show promising results in phase IIb clinical trials

Off-label use of biologic treatments for atopic dermatitis may double the risk for serious infection compared to systemic treatments, researchers found.

Off-label use of biologic treatments for AD may double the risk for serious infection compared to systemic treatments, according to results from an analysis that were revealed at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (EADV) in September 2018.


The biologics analyzed did not include Dupixent (dupilumab), the only biologic currently approved by the FDA for treating adults with moderate to severe AD.

Data on nearly 400,000 AD patients showed that treatment with a biologic agent doubled the risk of hospitalization for a serious bacterial or opportunistic infection compared to topical steroids and systemics. Infection risk also varied substantially among nonbiologic systemic agents, with cyclosporine posing the lowest risk and azathioprine and mycophenolate the greatest risk.

Investigators undertook an analysis of a commercial insurance claims database encompassing 2003-2016 and 180 million patients between 2003 and 2016. They used diagnostic codes to identify its group of adults being treated for AD.