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Br J Dermatol. 2018 May;178(5):1083-1101. doi: 10.1111/bjd.16156. Epub 2018 Mar 25.

Dupilumab with concomitant topical corticosteroid treatment in adults with atopic dermatitis with an inadequate response or intolerance to ciclosporin A or when this treatment is medically inadvisable: a placebo-controlled, randomized phase III clinical trial (LIBERTY AD CAFÉ).

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University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.
St. John's Institute of Dermatology, London, U.K.
Dermatologikum and TFS Research Institute, Hamburg, Germany.
Sheffield Dermatology Research, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Tarrytown, NY, U.S.A.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Basking Ridge, NJ, U.S.A.
Sanofi, Chilly-Mazarin, France.
Sanofi, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.
Sanofi, Bridgewater, NJ, U.S.A.



Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that may require systemic therapy. Ciclosporin A (CsA) is a widely used, potent immunosuppressant but it is not effective in all patients with atopic dermatitis, and side-effects limit its use. Dupilumab, a fully human anti-interleukin 4 receptor-alpha monoclonal antibody, inhibits signaling of IL-4 and IL-13, key drivers of Type 2/Th2-mediated inflammation, and is approved in the U.S.A. and the European Union for the treatment of inadequately-controlled moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adults.


To evaluate efficacy and safety of dupilumab with concomitant topical corticosteroids (TCS) in adults with atopic dermatitis with inadequate response to/intolerance of CsA, or for whom CsA treatment was medically inadvisable.


In this 16-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase III trial, patients were randomized 1 : 1 : 1 to subcutaneous dupilumab 300 mg weekly (qw) or every 2 weeks (q2w) or placebo. All received concomitant medium-potency TCS from Week -2 through Week 16; dosage could be tapered if lesions cleared, or stopped for adverse reactions to TCS.


In total, 390 patients were screened, 325 were randomized, and 318 completed the trial. Treatment groups had similar baseline characteristics. Significantly more patients in the dupilumab qw + TCS and q2w + TCS groups achieved ≥ 75% improvement from baseline in the Eczema Area and Severity Index at Week 16 vs. the placebo + TCS group (primary end point) (59·1% and 62·6% vs. 29·6%, respectively; P < 0·001 vs. placebo + TCS, both doses). Other clinical outcomes and atopic dermatitis symptoms were significantly improved in the dupilumab qw + TCS and q2w + TCS groups, including pruritus, pain, sleep disturbance, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and quality of life (QoL). Treatment groups had similar overall rates of adverse events (qw + TCS, q2w + TCS and placebo + TCS groups: 69·1%, 72·0% and 69·4%, respectively) and serious adverse events (1·8%, 1·9% and 1·9%, respectively). Conjunctivitis was more frequent with dupilumab + TCS; skin infections were more frequent with placebo + TCS.


Dupilumab + TCS significantly improved signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis and QoL in adults with a history of inadequate response to/intolerance of CsA, or for whom CsA treatment was medically inadvisable. No new safety signals were identified.

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