New research suggests that IL-22/Th22 targeting may offer a novel treatment alternative for patients with severe atopic dermatitis (AD).
The findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, provide the first evidence in humans that shows similarly to the Th2 cytokines—IL-4 and IL-13 immune molecules that IL-22 is a key driver of AD.
Specifically, fezakinumab treatment in 60 adults with moderate-to-severe AD resulted in consistent improvements in clinical disease scores as compared to placebo. At week 12, significant clinical improvements in drug-treated compared to placebo-treated patients were best seen in severe patients and progressive improvements in all outcome measures were observed until week 20, the study showed.
“This is a very exciting study because for the first time, Mount Sinai has identified that in humans there is a separate population of T-cells—that we termed Th22, which produces the cytokine IL-2,” says study author Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, Sol and Clara Kest Professor of Dermatology and Vice Chair of the Department of Dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. “We also associated these specific cells with an increased severity of atopic dermatitis, and postulated that these cells may play a major a role in this disease."