Extended Safety Analysis of Baricitinib 2 mg in Adult Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: An Integrated Analysis from Eight Randomized Clinical Trials

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2021 May;22(3):395-405. doi: 10.1007/s40257-021-00602-x. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Abstract

Background: Baricitinib, a selective Janus kinase 1/Janus kinase 2 inhibitor, is indicated in the European Union and Japan for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy.

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety of baricitinib 2 mg in the AD clinical program.

Methods: Six double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies, and two long-term extension studies were summarized in two datasets. Placebo comparison was based on six 16-week studies with baricitinib 2 mg. All-bari-2-mg-AD included patients who received baricitinib 2 mg at any time during the eight studies.

Results: In total, 1598 patients received once-daily baricitinib 2 mg for 1434.2 patient-years of exposure (median 330 days/maximum 2.4 years). Treatment-emergent adverse events were higher for baricitinib 2 mg (57.9%) vs placebo (51.6%). Serious adverse events, serious infections, and opportunistic infections were low in frequency and similar between baricitinib 2 mg and placebo. There were no malignancies, gastrointestinal perforations, or major adverse cardiovascular events with baricitinib 2 mg in the placebo-controlled period. Herpes simplex (cluster) was higher for baricitinib 2 mg (3.8%) vs placebo (2.8%); rates decreased with extended 2 mg exposure. In All-bari-2-mg-AD, there were five malignancies other than non-melanoma skin cancer, two major adverse cardiovascular events, one peripheral venous thrombosis, one arterial thrombosis, and no pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thromboses, or deaths.

Conclusions: This integrated analysis in patients with moderate-to-severe AD confirms the established safety profile of baricitinib 2 mg. Longer exposure to treatment is required to evaluate risks of malignancies and major adverse cardiovascular events.

Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT02576938 (first posted 15 October, 2015); NCT03334396 (7 November, 2017); NCT03334422 (7 November, 2017); NCT03428100 (9 February, 2018); NCT03435081 (15 February, 2018); NCT03733301 (7 November, 2018); NCT03334435 (7 November, 2017); NCT03559270 (18 June, 2018).

Plain Language Summary

Baricitinib is a medication that helps an overactive immune system adjust itself, leading to improvements in the inflammatory condition atopic dermatitis. Baricitinib is approved for patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in 40 countries. Because it works with the immune system, it is important to understand the safety of baricitinib. Safety information was collected from eight studies and analyzed in two datasets. The first dataset compared the safety of baricitinib 2 mg with placebo in six 16-week studies in which neither patient nor physician knew whether they were taking baricitinib or placebo. The second dataset included an additional two extension studies and examined the safety of baricitinib in all patients receiving at least one dose of baricitinib 2 mg. Patients took baricitinib 2 mg for a maximum of 2.4 years, with a median time of 330 days. In the first dataset, adverse events were higher for baricitinib 2 mg (57.9%) than placebo (51.6%). Serious adverse events, serious infections, and opportunistic infections were low in number and similar for patients taking baricitinib 2 mg or placebo. Herpes simplex infections were more frequent in patients taking baricitinib 2 mg (3.8%) than in those taking placebo (2.8%), but rates in those taking baricitinib 2 mg decreased with a longer treatment duration. There were no occurrences of cancer, gastrointestinal perforations, or major adverse cardiovascular events. In the second dataset, there were five reports of cancer other than non-melanoma skin cancer, two major adverse cardiovascular events, one peripheral venous thrombosis, one arterial thrombosis, and no pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thromboses, or deaths. Longer treatment with baricitinib is required to better understand the risks of developing cancer or major adverse cardiovascular events. This analysis of safety in patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis is consistent with the safety reported previously for baricitinib 2 mg. Extended Safety Analysis of Baricitinib 2 mg in Adult Patients with Atopic Dermatitis: An Integrated Analysis from Eight Randomized Clinical Trials (MP4 87244 kb).

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02576938
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03334396
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03334422
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03428100
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03435081
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03733301
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03334435
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03559270