The National Institutes of Health has awarded a research team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai $2.7 million to study systemic treatments for patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema. Currently, no treatments are available that achieve long-term remission without difficult side effects for this debilitating skin disorder, characterized by inflammation, severe itching, and a rash that can adversely affect many aspects of everyday life.
The team will investigate the efficacy of a new intravenous medication, ILV-094, which blocks IL-22, an important protein that has been shown in animal models to trigger epidermal growth and differentiation abnormalities and chronic inflammation, which are major features of AD. The researchers see the study as potentially groundbreaking in using "narrow pathway"-targeted immune interventions for not just AD, but other "allergic" inflammatory diseases of the skin or other organs, such as asthma.
At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Emma Guttman, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology, and Director of the Laboratory for Inflammatory Skin Diseases, and Mark Lebwohl, MD, Professor and Chair of Dermatology, will lead the study. James G. Krueger, MD, PhD, D. Martin Carter Professor and head of the Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology at The Rockefeller University, will oversee the mechanistic studies for the trial. Dr. Guttman has a joint appointment at Rockefeller and will conduct clinical and mechanistic studies at both institutions.
Dr. Guttman was the first investigator to show in humans that a separate population of T cells secrete interleukin 22 (IL-22) and she also discovered the importance of the Th22 pathway and IL-22 in AD.
"Dr. Guttman has been at the forefront of many of the most important strides in understanding the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis," said Dr. Lebwohl. "This trial is an important step in developing safer treatments for patients with moderate to severe AD."
"I hope that this research results in a final proof of concept and a novel treatment for AD without side effects," said Dr. Guttman. The clinical trial is expected to last five years. The majority of the clinical trial, will be conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
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The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine