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Shawn Kwatra, MD: Managing Prurigo Nodularis With Biologics

Feature
Article

Kwatra reviewed skin lesions in PN and important treatment considerations for patients at Fall Clinical.

“We talk about the therapeutic armamentarium that we have for prurigo nodularis and where novel biologics fit it. We'll be discussing 2 important agents that are recently approved with dupilumab, or have recently completed phase 3 studies with nemolizumab,” said Kwatra regarding his session at Fall Clinical 2023, “Prurigo Nodularis: Managing the ‘Itch-Scratch Cycle’ With Biologics.”

Kwatra, associate professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Itch Center, also reviewed comorbidities and recent research about circulating blood inflammation and the potential for therapies to reduce systemic inflammation in addition to inflammation in the skin.

Transcript

Shawn Kwatra, MD: Hi, my name is Shawn Kwatra, I work at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dermatology Times: What are the most important highlights from your session, "Prurigo Nodularis: Managing the 'Itch-Scratch Cycle' With Biologics?"

Kwatra: Well, the first question is why do skin lesions in prurigo nodularis even start? What's the pathophysiology and also what is important from a treatment perspective for patients? Notably the itch and skin lesions also sleep improvement. Then we talk about the therapeutic armamentarium that we have for prurigo nodularis and where novel biologics fit it. We'll be discussing 2 important agents that are recently approved with dupilumab or have recently completed phase 3 studies with nemolizumab. And we'll go through and talk about these large phase 3 trials and compare the data and finally, we'll talk about comorbidities and recent research from our group, actually about circulating blood inflammation and the potential for therapies to reduce systemic inflammation in addition to inflammation in the skin.

Dermatology Times: What is currently new in your work? What are you excited about?

Kwatra: We're working in my lab to better study the pathogenesis of a number of itch disorders. So, we are actually comparing many of these different diseases, focusing on atopic dermatitis, prurigo nodularis, the itch of unknown origin, chronic spontaneous urticaria, and then many other diseases. We're also doing a lot of work focusing on racial differences in prurigo nodularis. So, we recently put up a new paper talking about differences in somatic mutations in the skin. Actually, African American patients have more fibrosis, and we found that there are different gene sets and genes that are actually activated in the skin of African American patients with PN.

Dermatology Times: What do you enjoy about Fall Clinical?

Kwatra: Fall Clinical is a very practical meeting. Clinical information is synthesized by clinical experts, for clinicians. So, to me, it's a very practical meeting made for dermatologists by dermatologists.

[Transcript edited for clarity]

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