Long-Term Efficacy and Safety of Dupilumab in Adolescents with Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis: Results Through Week 52 from a Phase III Open-Label Extension Trial (LIBERTY AD PED-OLE)

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2022 May;23(3):365-383. doi: 10.1007/s40257-022-00683-2. Epub 2022 May 14.


Background: For adolescent patients (aged ≥ 12 to < 18 years) with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD), 16 weeks of treatment with dupilumab resulted in substantial clinical benefit compared with placebo, with an acceptable safety profile. However, long-term data on the approved dose regimens of dupilumab in adolescents with AD are lacking.

Objectives: This open-label extension study (LIBERTY AD PED-OLE, NCT02612454) reports the long-term safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of dupilumab in adolescents with moderate-to-severe AD who had participated in dupilumab parent trials.

Methods: Patients enrolled under the original study protocol received subcutaneous dupilumab according to a weight-based regimen (2 or 4 mg/kg every week). Following protocol amendment, patients were switched to subcutaneous dupilumab 300 mg every 4 weeks (q4w) irrespective of weight, and newly enrolled patients were started on dupilumab 300 mg q4w. Patients with an inadequate clinical response (Investigator's Global Assessment [IGA] score of 0/1 was not reached) to the q4w regimen could be uptitrated to the approved dupilumab dose regimens of 200 or 300 mg every 2 weeks (body weight < 60 or ≥ 60 kg, respectively). Patients whose IGA score of 0/1 was maintained continuously for a 12-week period after week 40 were discontinued from dupilumab, monitored for relapse, and re-initiated on dupilumab if required.

Results: Data for 294 patients (mean age 14.7 years) were analyzed, 102 (34.7%) of whom had completed the 52-week visit at the database lock. The dupilumab long-term safety profile was comparable to that seen in adults and consistent with the known safety profile. Most treatment-emergent adverse events were mild/moderate. By week 52, 42.7% of patients had an IGA score of 0/1 (clear/almost clear), and 93.1%, 81.2%, and 56.4%, respectively, had at least a 50%, 75%, or 90% improvement in Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI). Most (70.9%) patients required uptitration to the approved dupilumab dose regimen. The proportions of uptitrated patients with an IGA score of 0/1 or 75% improvement in EASI increased over time, reaching 35.7% and 51.9%, respectively, 48 weeks after the first uptitration visit. By week 52, 29.4% of patients had clear/almost clear skin sustained for 12 weeks and had stopped medication; 56.7% relapsed and were subsequently re-initiated on treatment, with a mean time to re-initiation of 17.5 (± standard deviation 17.3) weeks.

Conclusions: Consistent with results seen with short-term treatment, long-term treatment with dupilumab showed an acceptable safety profile while providing incremental clinical benefit with continued treatment over time. The high proportion of patients who needed uptitration because of inadequate response to q4w dosing supports the q2w dose regimen as optimal for this age group. Finally, the majority of patients who stopped medication after having clear/almost clear skin sustained over 12 weeks experienced disease recurrence, suggesting the need for continued dupilumab dosing to maintain efficacy.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifiers: NCT02612454, NCT02407756, NCT03054428, and NCT03050151.

Infographic: Video abstract: What is the long-term safety and efficacy profile in adolescents with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis treated with the approved dupilumab dose regimen? (MP4 40,966 KB).

Plain language summary

Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a common chronic skin disease that can cause intense and persistent itching and rashes. Atopic dermatitis remains a problem for many adolescent patients, even if they use a number of different treatments. Dupilumab is a newer treatment for atopic dermatitis. In short-term clinical studies, dupilumab improved the disease with acceptable safety. In this study, adolescents with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who had completed one of the short-term studies continued dupilumab treatment for 1 year. The patients started treatment with dupilumab once every 4 weeks. But if their atopic dermatitis did not improve sufficiently, they were given dupilumab every 2 weeks. Through a year of treatment, there were no unexpected side effects. The side effects that did occur were mild or moderate in severity and in most cases did not lead to interruption of treatment. Almost half of the patients achieved skin that was clear or almost clear of atopic dermatitis during the study. But their atopic dermatitis often returned if they stopped being treated, and about half of them needed to start treatment again. Most patients needed to be treated every 2 weeks. The positive effects of dupilumab generally increased the longer patients were treated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized* / adverse effects
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • dupilumab

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02612454
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02407756
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03050151
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03054428