Therapeutic potential of biologics in prurigo nodularis

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2022 Jan;22(1):47-58. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2021.1958777. Epub 2021 Aug 4.


Introduction: Prurigo nodularis (PN) or chronic prurigo of nodular type (CNPG) is a subtype of chronic prurigo with severe pruritus and neuroimmune underlying pathophysiology occurring in a plethora of dermatological, systemic, neurologic, and psychiatric conditions.

Areas covered: We review the increasing repertoire of biologics in the treatment of CNPG focusing on those targeting interleukins 4, 13, 31, oncostatin M and IgE. Presented information is based on a database research on current clinical trials (, European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT), US clinical trial registry ICH-GCP) and a PubMed search for latest publications conducted with the combinations of the terms 'chronic prurigo,' 'prurigo nodularis,' 'pathophysiology,' 'treatment,' 'therapy', and 'biologics.'

Expert opinion: CNPG gets more and more attention as new therapeutic targets have been revealed in recent years, thus allowing the use of targeted approaches. The off-label advent of dupilumab offered advanced insight into the pathogenesis of CNPG and showed an impressive relief of pruritus in the vast majority of patients. New therapies including biologics (e.g. nemolizumab, tralokinumab, lebrikizumab), small molecules (e.g. neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists, janus kinase inhibitors) as well as mu-opioid receptor antagonists and nalbuphine, a μ-antagonist/κ-agonist, are in the pipeline and offer new hope for an improved future patient care.

Keywords: Biologics; dupilumab; il-13; il-31; il-4; itch; nemolizumab; omalizumab; prurigo nodularis; pruritus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Prurigo* / drug therapy
  • Pruritus / drug therapy
  • Pruritus / etiology


  • Biological Products