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Patient Viewpoints on the Evolving Landscape of Atopic Dermatitis Treatments

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Sponsored Content

This article is sponsored by ASLAN Pharmaceuticals.

In a recent Dermatology Times® Partner Perspectives video series entitled, “Patient Viewpoints on the Evolving Landscape of Atopic Dermatitis Treatments,” Peter Lio, MD, FAAD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, founding director of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Center, and the founding partner of Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago in Illinois, discussed patient satisfaction with atopic dermatitis (AD) treatments through the lens of qualitative and quantitative market research conducted by ASLAN Pharmaceuticals. In the video, Dr Lio shared key findings and important takeaways for future inquiry and development of AD therapies.

The market research was designed to gain up-to-date insights from the patient perspective, to understand the impact on quality of life, and to help uncover unmet needs in patients with moderate to severe AD. In addition, the research was fielded to measure patients’ willingness to switch to a hypothetical new biologic treatment. The qualitative data revealed that patients with AD, even if treated, reported a significant impact on quality of life. “[Patients] are only somewhat satisfied with current available treatments, highlighting a clear unmet need for a new effective AD therapy,” noted Dr Lio. “None of the patients were highly satisfied with their current treatment, because [it did] not fully address the patient’s itch and skin irritation and inflammation needs.” Moreover, Dr Lio observed that only about 60% of the patients were even moderately satisfied with their current treatment. “In fact, the average satisfaction score with their current treatment across all patient segments was reported as only 4.1…of 7,” observed Dr Lio. The scale ranged from 1 (very unsatisfied) to 7 (very satisfied).

In contrast, Dr Lio described what patients are ideally looking for in their treatments for AD. He explained that efficacy, safety, and dosing frequency were important to patients.

Dr Lio also provided an overview of the key results of a quantitative/conjoint study to help uncover the perception patients have of current advanced systemic treatments and their willingness to switch therapies. It was also conducted to discern whether small changes to drug attributes made a significant difference to preference.

Dr Lio noted that itch is one of the most debilitating symptoms of AD, and it can affect all areas of a patient’s life. “The quantitative data further validates this with almost 90% of patients citing itch as the most burdensome symptom,” Dr Lio said. Another important factor for patients is sleep loss. “Approximately 30% of patients noted sleep loss as a significant symptom of AD, and this is likely due to that constant itch.”

Regarding patient satisfaction, Dr Lio noted that approximately 50% of lapsed biologic patients reported using it for less than 6 months before switching to a new treatment, suggesting that current biologics may not fully address patient needs and that a decrease in efficacy was the most popular reason why patients stopped use. Among the different cohorts, roughly half of patients showed a willingness to switch to a new treatment that offered better efficacy and durability, Dr Lio noted. “When asked about attributes desired in a new treatment, the top attributes were better efficacy at reducing itch, followed by better durability and better efficacy in clearing skin.” In addition, for the large percentage of patients with other atopic conditions (eg, asthma, rhinitis), efficacy to treat those conditions was ranked as the second most important attribute for a new treatment in AD, following efficacy in reducing itch/clearing skin.

Regarding administration preferences, Dr Lio said that nearly 40% of patients would prefer once monthly dosing involving 2 injections vs 1 injection given every 2 weeks. Further, when comparing the therapeutic profile of a current biologic vs a hypothetical new biologic that would be given as 2 injections once monthly and that would be associated with less conjunctivitis, 55% of patients preferred the hypothetical new biologic. Other key differentiators of a hypothetical new biologic included, according to Dr Lio, “…no refrigeration requirement, reduction in topical use, and improvement in sleep quality.” Finally, he observed, “Ninety percent of patients prefer a hypothetical new biologic product profile with 20% to 25% higher efficacy thresholds and once-monthly dosing.”

Looking to the future of AD therapies, Dr Lio said that it is important to consider patient feedback and experience to see what could be done better. “As we better understand how complex and multifaceted this disease is, I really hope that companies and clinical trialists like myself will continue to push the boundary to ask those deeper, more penetrating questions about sleep, about fatigue, about these true patient-reported outcomes that have a huge impact on life,” he said. “I hope we’ll see that trend continue to go deeper into these questions and really understand more about the patient experience so that, in turn, we can develop better treatments for every single patient.”

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