Eucrisa (crisaborole) recently won FDA approval for eczema (atopic dermatitis). This would be the first non-steroidal skin therapy for eczema in 15 years, since Elidel and Protopic were approved. Pfizer recently bought the rights to Eucrisa (crisaborole) back in May when it acquired its developer, Anacor, for 5.2 billion dollars.
There were 2 trials, consisting of over 1,500 patients with mild to moderate eczema, where Eucrisa (crisaborole) showed it was better than placebo in achieving clear or almost clear skin after 28 days of treatment. The studies did not compare Eucrisa to any steroidal topical treatments. Topical steroids are also used for eczema, but many patients do not like using them because of side effects such as thinning of the skin with long term usage. Eucrisa (crisaborole) would be an alternative to use for mild to moderate patients with eczema.
Eucrisa (crisaborole) would be the first in its class of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitors to treat eczema. PDE4 inhibitors are already being used to treat inflammation for other disease conditions such as asthma, COPD and psoriasis.
Eucrisa (crisaborole) is expected to hit the market this year, the price will be approximately $580 for a 60 gram tube before any discounts or rebates. There most certainly will be push back from insurance companies as a comparable tube for a topical steroid cream is only a few dollars.
Many new treatments are on the horizon for atopic dermatitis, as it affects millions of people worldwide. The much anticipated drug, Dupixent (dupilumab) is expected to launch sometime this year and it is for more severe forms of eczema.
The most common side effects seen with Eucrica, were itching, burning and site pain. Although crisaborole is a PDE4 inhibitor, the specific mechanism of action in eczema is unknown.
Because of its high cost, Eucrisa (crisaborole), patients will find it difficult to use it widespread on their bodies. Most likely it will only be able to be used in patients who have small patches of eczema who do not want to use topical steroids. Also it could be used in sensitive areas where you do not want to use topical steroids such as the face and genital regions.
An oral PDE4 inhibitor that functions in a mechanism similar to crisaborole, apremilast, is also being investigated for treatment of AD.
For more information on atopic dermatitis (eczema), speak to an allergy doctor or a dermatologist. Here are some useful links below.