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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

First-in-class, steroid-free topical treatment TGA approved for atopic dermatitis

Health Industry Hub | December 2, 2019 |

Doctors can now treat mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis in patients as young as two years of age with a first-in-class, non-steroidal therapy approved for application to virtually any area of skin.

Dermatologists welcomed the availability of Pfizer’s STAQUIS (crisaborole) in Australia. STAQUIS is the first and only non-steroidal topical phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor.

STAQUIS is available on private prescription at a recommended cost of $139 for a 60 gram tube, about the size of a standard toothpaste tube. Patients may use 1.4 tubes per year on average.

Associate Professor Saxon Smith, a dermatologist from Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital said that the availability of new topical treatments that are effective and well tolerated is an important treatment option for Australians impacted by mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis.

“While corticosteroids are generally well-tolerated, many people – particularly parents of young children – worry about long-term use and discontinue treatment prematurely. This can cause eczema to flare,” he said.

Atopic dermatitis commonly appears in early childhood, with more than half of eczema sufferers experiencing symptoms before the age of one. One-in-five people with eczema develop the condition before the age of five.

Registration by the TGA is based on results from two multicentre, randomised studies that treated 1,016 patients with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis between the ages of two and 79 with STAQUIS.

In both studies, more STAQUIS patients achieved success in ISGA score at day 29, compared with those in the non-medicated group (32.8% versus 25.4% in the first study, and 31.4% versus 18% in the second study).

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