Baricitinib: The First Jak Inhibitor Approved in Europe for the Treatment of Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis in Adult Patients

Healthcare (Basel). 2021 Nov 18;9(11):1575. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9111575.


Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by a wide phenotypic variety with a very complex pathophysiological mechanism that has led to the identification of new therapeutic targets, such as janus kinasis (JAK) inhibitors. Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of baricitinib, the first JAK 1 and 2 inhibitor approved in Europe for the treatment of adult patients with moderate-to-severe AD. Methods: The efficacy and safety data available from the Phase III studies belonging to the BREEZE AD program are presented. Results: Results from BREEZE-AD1, AD2, AD4, and AD7 showed the efficacy of Baricitib 4 mg, administered orally, once daily, as monotherapy or in combination with topical corticosteroid (TCS), with a significant proportion of patients achieving primary endpoints IGA 0-1 (16.4% vs. 4.8%; 13.8% vs. 4.5%; 21.7% vs. 9.7%; 30.6% vs. 14.7%) and EASI75 (24.8% vs. 8.8%; 21.1% vs. 6.1%; 31.5% vs. 17.2%; 47.7% vs. 22.9%) at week 16 (W16) compared to placebo, respectively. Baricitinib showed rapid improvement in symptoms, starting from week 1 of treatment at 4 mg dosage, with a good safety profile. Nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infections (URIs), creatine phosphokinase (CPK) elevations, and headache were the most frequently reported adverse events. Conclusions: Following the efficacy and safety data on W 16 from the phase III BREEZE-AD studies, baricitinib has recently been approved in Europe for the treatment of moderate to severe AD in adult patients. Further data to evaluate long-term efficacy and safety in a real-life setting are needed.

Keywords: JAK inhibitors; atopic dermatitis; baricitinib; efficacy; safety.

Publication types

  • Review