ZPL389 is a new once-daily oral H4 receptor antagonist that is currently being studied for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, commonly referred as eczema.
Novartis recently purchased the rights to this medication from Ziarco, a private company focused on the development of treatments in dermatology. There currently is no specific oral medication used for the treatment of eczema. Histamine H4 receptors have only been recently discovered and are located on many cells and they have been linked to inflammatory responses. There are some effects of histamine that have not been linked to the H1 and H2 receptors and have been attributed to H4 receptors, making H4 antagonists like ZPL389 a potential therapeutic agent.
Early studies of ZPL389 have a shown a clinically and statistically significant improvement of eczema lesions after 8 weeks of treatment with a favorable safety profile. The study showed a decrease in itching in the treatment vs. the placebo arm.
Recent studies have shown H4 receptors have shown they are responsible for allergic and inflammatory conditions that affect the lung, skin and GI system and that it involves inflammatory and neuropathic pain and acute and chronic itching. H1 receptors antagonists, such as loratadine and cetirizine, help control allergies and itching, H2 receptor antagonists, such as cimetidine and famotidine, help control acid reflux, and H3 receptor antagonists examples are pitolisant and irdabisant. ZPL389 is first in its class of H4 receptor antagonists.
ZPL389 is a potent and selective H4 receptor antagonist suitable for oral administration and its indicated for once daily dosing.
ZPL389 is currently in Phase 2 trials.
There is no current brand name for ZPL389 and no details on what the cost or price of what ZPL389 will be if it hits the market and gets FDA approval. It is currently several years away from being available assuming it does get FDA approval.
The market for atopic dermatitis is seeing a revival of medications as of late, recently Eucrisa was FDA approved and is currently available. And soon to be available is Dupixent, which is an anti IL-4 and IL-13 injectable medication.
Eczema poses a significant burden on health care resources and quality of life for patients. Eczema affects up to 10% of the US population alone, with approximately 15% of children and 70% of adults having the moderate to severe form of the disease. Current treatments do not cure the disease but control symptoms and improve quality of life.
To read more about eczema, click below.
Always speak to your allergist or dermatologist to find the best treatment available for you.