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An Update on Clinical Experiences and Clinical Studies on Novel Pharmaceutical Developments for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis

Tatjana Honstein; Thomas Werfel


Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020;20(4):386-394. 

In This Article

Targeting the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor for the Topical Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis With Tapinarof

Another strategy to combat atopic skin disease is the aryl hydrocarbon receptor modulating agent tapinarof, and recent studies show that the expression of the receptor correlates with the severity of the disease.[54] The aryl hydrocarbon receptor can be activated by various exogenous stimuli, such as molecules present in air pollution.[55] It induces, as a transcription factor, the expression of molecules, such as neurotrophic factor artenim and participates in important cellular processes, such as proliferation, migration, differentiation, and apoptosis.[56,57]

Tapinarof is a modulator of the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor that has been used topically for 12 weeks in atopic dermatitis in varying concentrations in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized phase II clinical dose-finding study. Two hundred and forty-seven adolescent or adult subjects received 1 or 0.5% ointment or vehicle control applied it once or twice daily. Sixty percent of the patients with the highest dosage reached EASI75 and only 25% of the control group.[58]