Clinical Tailoring of Baricitinib 2 mg in Atopic Dermatitis: Baseline Body Surface Area and Rapid Onset of Action Identifies Response at Week 16

Jonathan I. Silverberg, Mark Boguniewicz, Jill Waibel, Jamie Weisman, Lindsay Strowd, Luna Sun, Yuxin Ding, Meghan Feely, Fabio P. Nunes, Eric L. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Baricitinib, an oral Janus kinase (JAK)1/JAK2 inhibitor, is indicated in the European Union and Japan for treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy. In the ongoing, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial BREEZE-AD5, once-daily oral baricitinib 2-mg monotherapy improved disease in moderate-to-severe AD patients who had an inadequate response or intolerance to topical corticosteroids. This post-hoc analysis aimed to identify responders to baricitinib 2 mg, using a proposed clinical tailoring approach based on baseline body surface area (BSA) affected and early clinical improvement, in BREEZE-AD5. Methods: Classification and regression tree method was used to evaluate baseline predictors for the proportion of patients achieving ≥ 75% improvement in Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI75) at week 16 among baricitinib 2-mg-treated patients. Two-by-two contingency tables evaluated the association between early response, defined as ≥ 50% improvement in BSA or ≥ 3-point improvement in Itch Numeric Rating Scale from baseline at weeks 4 or 8, and response at week 16 for the proportion of patients achieving EASI75, validated Investigator Global Assessment for AD (vIGA-AD) score of 0 or 1, or ≥ 4-point improvement in Itch (Itch ≥ 4), respectively. Missing data were imputed as non-responder. Results: At week 16, EASI75 and vIGA-AD (0,1) were achieved by 37.5% and 31.7% of baricitinib 2-mg-treated patients with baseline BSA 10–50% compared with 9.5% and 4.8% with BSA > 50%. Early response in skin inflammation or itch at week 4 was associated with corresponding EASI75, vIGA-AD (0,1), and Itch ≥ 4 of 55.4%, 48.2%, and 39.3% at week 16, while early response at week 8 was associated with 66.7%, 56.1%, and 42.1% of patients achieving these endpoints. Conclusion: Baseline BSA of 10–50% and early clinical improvement after 4 or 8 weeks of baricitinib 2-mg treatment may identify patients most likely to benefit from long-term baricitinib 2-mg therapy. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT03435081.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalDermatology and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Baricitinib
  • Body surface area
  • Clinical tailoring
  • Clinical trial
  • Janus kinase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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