Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Preliminary clinical activity of a topical JAK1/2 inhibitor in the treatment of psoriasis.

PMID 22281165


Janus-associated kinases (JAKs) are involved in signal transduction from a variety of cytokines implicated in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, including interleukin (IL)-12, IL-23, and interferon-γ. INCB018424, a small molecule inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK2, inhibits cytokine-induced JAK/signal transducers and activators of transcription signaling and the resultant production of inflammatory proteins (eg, IL-17). We sought to demonstrate proof of concept in patients with stable plaque psoriasis. Patients were dosed with vehicle, 0.5% or 1.0% INCB018424 phosphate cream once a day or 1.5% twice a day for 28 days. Additional groups included two active comparators (calcipotriene 0.005% cream or betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% cream). Both the 1% and the 1.5% cream improved lesion thickness, erythema, and scaling and reduced lesion area compared with placebo. A composite lesion score decreased by greater than 50% with the efficacious doses of INCB018424 compared with 32% for vehicle controls. Topical application of INCB018424 was well tolerated with few mild adverse events noted. Mean plasma concentrations of INCB018424 after topical application of 0.5% to 1.5% cream were in the low nanomolar range, representing a fraction (<1%) of the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) in whole blood for inhibition of cytokine-stimulated signal transducers and activators of transcription-3 phosphorylation. This study was limited by the relatively short study duration and small sample size. Topical INCB018424 is safe, is well tolerated, and exhibits clinical activity in the topical treatment of psoriasis.

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