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FDA Approves New Eczema Drug Tested at URMC

Thursday, March 30, 2017

People who suffer from eczema have new hope for relief with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a “game changing” medication tested at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). The new drug, Dupilumab, is the first treatment to show significant, lasting results for adults whose lives are disrupted by moderate to severe eczema or atopic dermatitis (AD).

AD is the most common skin disease in the world, impacting 7 to 9 percent of adults. People with AD suffer from severely dry skin, red lesions that may crust or ooze, skin thickening and intense itching, which may lead to skin wounds, infections, sleep disturbance and depression.

“This is a watershed moment for the treatment of patients with AD, some of whom have been suffering for decades with intractable itch and extensive skin disease,” said Lisa A. Beck, M.D., Dean’s Professor of Dermatology at URMC and a leading researcher in clinical trials of the new drug. “Until now, we’ve had nothing new to offer patients with this level of disease. This is a real game-changer for them.”

At URMC, Beck led a three-year trial of the drug to test its efficacy and safety. In trials, Dupilumab rapidly and significantly improved the skin appearance and the severity of itch in patients. In addition, patients had little or no side effects from the medication.

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