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Dupilumab: A New Paradigm for the Treatment of Allergic Diseases

Sastre J1, Dávila I2

1Allergy Service, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, and Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
2Institute for Biomedical Research of Salamanca (IBSAL), Allergy Service, University Hospital of Salamanca, and Department of Biomedical and Diagnostics Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Salamanca, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2018; Vol 28(3) : 139-150
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0254

Moderate and severe forms of allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis and asthma are a challenge for clinicians. In these conditions, which severely affect the quality of life of the patient and frequently have associated allergic comorbidities, the therapeutic options are often very limited. Treatment with systemic corticosteroids and immunosuppressants has adverse effects in the long term, and a significant proportion of patients remain refractory to therapy. In this context, the emerging biological drugs constitute a truly innovative therapeutic approach. A leading example is dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting the α chain of the interleukin (IL)-4 receptor. Dupilumab inhibits the biological effects of the cytokines IL-4 and IL-13, which are key drivers in the TH2 response. The efficacy and safety profile of dupilumab in the treatment of allergic diseases has been tested for more than 10 years in a variety of large clinical trials in atopic dermatitis, asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, and eosinophilic esophagitis. In 2017, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency approved the use of dupilumab for the treatment of adult patients with moderateto-severe atopic dermatitis whose disease is not adequately controlled with prescribed topical treatment. The results of phase III clinical studies of dupilumab in patients with persistent, uncontrolled asthma have been highly promising. The safety and tolerability profile of dupilumab has proven to be very favorable in long-term clinical trials. In this review, we focus on the mechanism of action of dupilumab, its development, and its impact on daily clinical practice in allergic diseases.

Key words: Allergy, Atopic dermatitis, Asthma, Biological drugs, Dupilumab