Dupilumab: A Drug that is Defying Eczema

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By Samantha Levine
@Quantumrun
Jan 24, 2017,  4:05 PM

A Study to Defy Eczema

 

Atopic dermatitis, or a specific form of eczema, is characterized by a painful and bothersome skin condition. Sufferers of this skin condition report to live in constant discomfort, itchiness, and often carry a heavy rash all over their bodies. Luckily, the emergence of a new drug has been amazing patients with impressive results, with many people involved in the trial reporting to experience substantially less redness, itchiness, and swollenness on their bodies.

 

In a double-blind study, one third of the patients were administered placebo shots, another one-third was administered injections containing the drug, Dupilumab, once a week, and the final group was given a shot of the drug every other week for a total of 16 consecutive weeks.

 

Nearly 40% of patients reported a total improvement in their skin, with a large portion of the other 60% claiming to see some sort of enhancement.

 

Will patients who didn’t partake in the trial get to benefit from the drug soon?

 

Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, a scientist at Regeneron, has mentioned that the Food and Drug Administration should decide if Dupilumab will be suitable for distribution by March 29, 2017.

 

When asked how much Dupilumab is expected to cost, Dr. Yancopoulos stated to the New York Times that it will be “consistent with the value of the drug.”  However, since the drug is a biologic, meaning it is genetically engineered utilizing human genetics, it can be difficult to produce, making it a highly-demanded and expensive product. In turn, the patient may have to pay quite a bit of money to purchase the expensively-manufactured drug.

 

Dupilumab has been impressing people...

 

Though Dupilumab’s market price may be high, the results have been astonishing, leaving many long-term sufferers of eczema feeling pleasantly surprised with their cleared up skin.

 

Besides the visible improvements of the skin conditions, Dupilumab’s also been enhancing patient’s self- esteem. Many people who suffer from eczema mention the psychological toll it takes upon them as well, including depression and severe confidence issues. Dr. Jon M. Hanifin, a professor of dermatology at Oregon Health and Science University, has worked with several of the patients involved in the trial, reporting how happy many of the patients involved have felt, claiming “[we] walk in the room and patients are smiling. These patients are the worst of the worst. Their life was destroyed.”

 

Not to mention, the FDA has categorized this new drug as a “breakthrough therapy”. This label may trigger FDA judges to become more familiar with and aware of Dupilumab, which can potentially help with approving the drug on the March decision day. 

 

Impact (ONLY use the 'Paste From Word' button to safely copy and paste text from a Word doc) 

This seems to have such an impact in such a relatively short amount of time, leaving many of us wondering why eczema has taken so long to be treated as effectively as it has been by Dupilumab. However, eczema can make skin so overly sensitive, leaving many of its patients prone to excruciating pain by many substances that promise relief.

 

Many of the serums and lotions that are intended to alleviate eczema are not aggressive enough to counteract the underlying cause. Conversely, any products that are too aggressive may harm the patient, irritating or infecting their skin. Dupilumab may be the drug that finds the perfect balance- treating the patient’s condition effectively without aggravating the skin further.

 

Scientists have understood that eczema is often triggered by a weakness in the immune system. Keeping this in mind, developers of Dupilumab have used substances that enhance the immune system, rather than further destroying it and making the patient more susceptible to worsened symptoms.  

Public Release Date: 
2017
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