With Vtama's success in relieving itching, Dermavant eyes FDA filing in atopic dermatitis

In the race to develop nonsteroidal topical treatments for autoimmune skin conditions, Dermavant is charging toward the finish line—again.

With an FDA approval in hand from last year for Vtama to treat plaque psoriasis, Dermavant has posted data that bolster its efforts to land another nod, this one for atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Thursday in Berlin at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress, Dermavant presented evidence that Vtama provides immediate and long-term relief from the severe itch condition pruritus, the most prevalent symptom of atopic dermatitis.

In two identical phase 3 trials of more than 400 patients each, reductions in Peak Pruritus Numerical Rating Scale mean scores for Vtama versus placebo vehicle were observed as early as Day 1 in one trial and Day 2 in the other. Improvements in daily pruritus scores continued into Week 2 and through Week 8 in both trials, the company said.

With the results, Dermavant plans to apply for approval to treat atopic dermatitis in adults and children as young as age 2 in the first half of next year. If approved in the new use, Vtama would become the first nonsteroidal treatment for both plaque psoriasis and eczema.

Dermavant purchased Vtama, an aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist, from GSK for $330 million in 2018. It was first approved in May of last year and generated $17 million in sales in the second quarter of this year.

Vtama’s value is that it can be used along with systemic therapies such as AbbVie’s Humira, Amgen’s Otezla and Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade.

In the topical arena, there is nonsteroidal competition in the market. Arcutis Biotherapeutics won approval last year for Zoryve in plaque psoriasis and sees sales potential across multiple indications maxing out at $3.8 billion.