Targeting the Janus Kinase Family in Autoimmune Skin Diseases

    October 2019 in “ Frontiers in Immunology
    Michael D. Howell, Fiona Kuo, Paul A. Smith
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    TLDR Janus kinase inhibitors are promising treatments for autoimmune skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
    The document from 2019 reviews the therapeutic potential of Janus kinase inhibitors (JAKinibs) for autoimmune skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, psoriasis, and vitiligo. It explains the role of the JAK-STAT pathway in these conditions and presents evidence from clinical trials and studies demonstrating the efficacy of JAKinibs. For atopic dermatitis, JAKinibs like upadacitinib have shown significant improvements in disease severity, with a 90% improvement in EASI score for about 50% of participants after 16 weeks. In alopecia areata, characterized by non-scarring hair loss, JAKinibs have led to hair regrowth in patients, with one study showing 32% of patients achieving a 50% improvement in SALT score after 12 weeks. Psoriasis and vitiligo have also seen positive outcomes with JAK inhibitor treatment, with oral tofacitinib showing efficacy in phase 3 trials for psoriasis and ruxolitinib cream improving facial vitiligo. The document suggests that JAK inhibitors could become an important treatment option for these diseases, though it notes that more research is needed to fully understand their mechanisms and long-term safety. The study acknowledges funding and support from Incyte Corporation.
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