Conjunctivitis in Dupilumab Clinical Trials for Adolescents with Atopic Dermatitis or Asthma

Ashish Bansal, Eric L. Simpson, Amy S. Paller, Elaine C. Siegfried, Andrew Blauvelt, Marjolein de Bruin-Weller, Jonathan Corren, Lawrence Sher, Emma Guttman-Yassky, Zhen Chen, Nadia Daizadeh, Mohamed A. Kamal, Brad Shumel, Paola Mina-Osorio, Leda Mannent, Naimish Patel, Neil M.H. Graham, Faisal A. Khokhar, Marius Ardeleanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Conjunctivitis is a known comorbidity of atopic dermatitis. Dupilumab clinical trials for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adults showed a higher conjunctivitis incidence for dupilumab-treated patients than placebo-treated patients, whereas trials for uncontrolled asthma reported lower rates for both dupilumab and placebo. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence and severity of conjunctivitis in dupilumab clinical trials in adolescents with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis or uncontrolled asthma. Methods: We evaluated the incidence of conjunctivitis in adolescents (aged 12 to < 18 years) in three phase III trials. Ocular events were diagnosed and treated based on patient-reported symptoms and an external eye examination by study investigators, in most cases without an ophthalmologic referral. In LIBERTY AD ADOL (16-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial), adolescents with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis were randomized to subcutaneous placebo, dupilumab 300 mg every 4 weeks, or dupilumab every 2 weeks (200 mg, patients < 60 kg at baseline; 300 mg, ≥ 60 kg at baseline). In LIBERTY AD PED-OLE (open-label extension), pediatric patients from previous dupilumab atopic dermatitis trials received dupilumab 2 mg/kg or 4 mg/kg weekly (up to 300 mg) or 300 mg every 4 weeks. In LIBERTY ASTHMA QUEST (randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial), patients with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe asthma were randomized to 52 weeks of add-on therapy with dupilumab 200 or 300 mg every 2 weeks or matched-volume placebo. Results: In ADOL, more dupilumab-treated (17/165; 10.3%) than placebo-treated patients (4/85; 4.7%) reported one or more conjunctivitis event. All events were mild to moderate in severity; 12 (7.3%) dupilumab-treated and 4 (4.7%) placebo-treated patients received treatment. Most patients with conjunctivitis (dupilumab, 12/17; placebo, 4/4) recovered/resolved during the treatment period. The risk of conjunctivitis showed no relationship with dupilumab serum concentration. In PED-OLE, 12/275 adolescents (4.4%) reported one or more conjunctivitis event. Most conjunctivitis events were mild to moderate. Ten patients received treatment for conjunctivitis. Ten patients recovered/resolved during the study. In QUEST, similar low proportions of dupilumab-treated (2/68, 2.9%) and placebo-treated (1/39, 2.6%) adolescents reported one or more conjunctivitis event. All events were mild to moderate. One dupilumab-treated patient received treatment for conjunctivitis. All cases recovered/resolved during the study. No patients in these trials discontinued study treatment temporarily or permanently because of conjunctivitis. In ADOL, one case of unspecified viral keratitis (specific viral etiology not known) in the dupilumab 300-mg every 4 weeks group and one case of allergic blepharitis in the placebo group were reported; both events resolved during the treatment period, and neither led to treatment discontinuation. Conclusions: Dupilumab-treated adolescents in atopic dermatitis trials had a higher incidence of conjunctivitis than placebo-treated patients, whereas overall rates of conjunctivitis among adolescents in the asthma trial were lower than in atopic dermatitis trials and were similar for dupilumab- and placebo-treated patients. Most events were mild to moderate, most recovered/resolved, and none prompted study withdrawal. These results are similar to those reported in adult trials and support a drug–disease interaction. Identifiers: NCT03054428, NCT02612454, NCT02414854. [MediaObject not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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