Eli Lilly’s Olumiant has received a UK National Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendation for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) in adults.

NICE has backed use of Olumiant (baricitinib) for patients whose disease has not responded to at least one systemic immunosuppressant, such as ciclosporin, methotrexate, azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil or where these are not suitable.

Lilly agreed a confidential commercial agreement with NICE, meaning the NHS will receive Olumiant at a discounted price.

Olumiant is an oral JAK inhibitor that acts as an immunosuppressant and blocks the action of JAK1 and JAK2. These enzymes play a key role in the process of inflammation and inflammatory diseases like atopic dermatitis.

In the Phase III BREEZE-AD trial, Olumiant was observed to have clinically significant improvements in the symptoms of eczema including skin, skin pain, itch and sleep disturbance from itch.

After 16 weeks, 31% of Olumiant-treated patients in the BREEZE-AD7 trial achieved a vIGA-AD (validated Investigator Global Assessment for Atopic Dermatitis) score of 0 or 1 compared to 15% on placebo.

Also in the BREEZE-AD7 trial, almost half of patients treated with Olumiant demonstrated a 75% improvement in their eczema from baseline compared to 23% in the placebo group, as measured by the Eczema Activity Severity Index (EASI).

In addition, 44% achieved a 4-point or greater improvement on the Itch Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) compared to 20% in the placebo group.

“Lilly welcomes this decision from NICE which will give doctors and their patients a much-needed new treatment option.  We know that people living with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis can find that the condition impacts much more than their skin.” said Jyun-Yan Yang, senior medical director, Eli Lilly and Company, Northern Europe.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer an innovative treatment for this group of patients, demonstrating Lilly’s commitment to dermatology,” he added.