Elaine Siegfried, MD: There are many things in the pipeline. There are some additional type 2 immunity blockers. There are the IL-17 [interleukin-17] blockers, which were a subset of that phenotype and may be a better pathway. And then the other big immunomodulating medication in the field is the JAK [Janus] kinase inhibitors. And those are already on the market, or at least 1 of them is already on the market to treat arthritis, and they’re being studied in a whole variety of inflammatory conditions that feature type 2 immunity like alopecia areata, for example, and even vitiligo, and atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Regarding the JAK inhibitors, I have a little bit more caution about that subset of diseases. It’s a really important pathway that’s less targeted just targeting an interleukin-4 receptor or interleukin-13 receptor in the type 2 pathway. It’s a bigger pathway with more immunologic implications, and certainly the risk of infections and opportunistic infections and cancer are something that I really keep in the front of my mind when thinking about using those drugs. I haven’t used them in any children yet.
Julie Block: This is the decade of eczema we call it, or the era of eczema. And we are so thrilled and hopeful that the science and new discoveries that we are making about this disease that was hidden for so long are now coming to the fore. We are so grateful for the investment of many stakeholders including our pharmaceutical industry partners that are investing in this space. And we look forward to it only getting better, and better, and better.
We also are very grateful and appreciative of the patient-centeredness of this new era where the drug development is centered on what the patient needs, and what is appropriate, and what will make their life easier. And patients being able to, for the first time, really express how this disease impacts their life and what their favorite thing would be in a treatment and to be listened to and to have that be taken into consideration by the FDA, by our industry partners, and hopefully the payer community that will understand that together we can really make a difference.
We can save the healthcare system money. We can improve people’s lives beyond measure with appropriate treatment. We can prevent the cascade of associated diseases and health issues that people with atopic dermatitis get. The earlier we get to it, the better we’re going to be. And I’m also very excited about the empowerment of the eczema or atopic dermatitis community to begin to influence and be critical collaborators in the entire process. Again, it is the most hopeful era and we are thrilled beyond measure with what we know is ahead. It’s going to be life-changing and game-changing, and people need to have extreme hope.