This website is intended for healthcare professionals only.

Hospital Healthcare Europe
Hospital Pharmacy Europe     Newsletter    Login            

Press Releases

Take a look at a selection of our recent media coverage:

Ruxolitinib cream approved by MHRA for non-segmental vitiligo

7th July 2023

Topical ruxolitinib has been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the treatment of non-segmental vitiligo in adults and adolescents with facial involvement.

The MHRA has granted marketing authorisation for ruxolitinib cream 15mg/g (brand name Opzelura) for treating patients from 12 years of age who have non-segmental vitiligo affecting facial areas.

The approval was based on the findings from two identical phase 3 trials TRuE-V1 and TRuE-V2, which evaluated the efficacy and safety of ruxolitinib cream compared to placebo in over 600 patients with non-segmental vitiligo.

Manufactured by Incyte, Opzelura is now the first and only approved treatment in the UK to offer eligible patients with non-segmental vitiligo support for repigmentation. The MHRA decision follows the European Commission approval in April 2023 and FDA approval in July 2022.

Dr Viktoria Eleftheriadou, consultant dermatologist and lead for vitiligo clinic and research, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: ‘The MHRA approval is welcome news for dermatologists and people with vitiligo seeking treatment who until now have had limited options. The data supporting this approval demonstrate the potential for ruxolitinib cream to make a difference in the lives of people living with this condition.’

Founder and chief executive officer of the charity Vitiligo Support UK Emma Rush added: ‘While more and more people are proud of their vitiligo, there are still so many people who don’t feel comfortable in their skin. This new treatment option provides a choice for those who wish to treat their condition.’

Voicing the manufacturer’s delight at the approval, Peter Williams, general manager at Incyte UK and Ireland, said: ‘We are now working in partnership with the NHS to ensure that eligible patients seeking to treat their vitiligo are able to access this innovative medicine.’

Clinical efficacy of ruxolitinib

The combined results of the two randomised, double-blind, vehicle-controlled trials were published as a single paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in October 2022. Both included patients aged 12 years or older who had non-segmental vitiligo with depigmentation covering 10% or less of total body-surface area.

Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to apply 1.5% ruxolitinib cream or vehicle control twice daily for 24 weeks to all vitiligo areas on the face and body, after which all patients could apply 1.5% ruxolitinib cream through to week 52.

The primary end point was an improvement of at least 75% from baseline in the facial Vitiligo Area Scoring Index (F-VASI75), which ranges from 0 to 3, with higher scores reflecting a greater area of facial depigmentation.

A combined total of 674 patients, 330 in TRuE-V1 and 344 in TRuE-V2, were randomised to ruxolitinib. After 24 weeks of therapy, a F-VASI75 response occurred in 29.8% of those taking ruxolitinib in TRuE-V1 compared to 7.4% of those assigned the vehicle control (p < 0.001). Similarly, in TRuE-V2, 0.9% of those receiving ruxolitinib cream achieved a F-VASI75 response (p < 0.001) compared to 7.4% in the vehicle group.

Around one in 100 people in the UK develop vitiligo, with eight in 10 suffering from the non-segmental vitiligo, where both sides of the body are affected by symmetrical white patches. The treatment is approved for twice-daily topical use to the depigmented skin areas up to a maximum of 10% body surface area. Satisfactory re-pigmentation may require treatment with ruxolitinib cream for more than 24 weeks.

FDA approves ruxolitinib cream for vitiligo

28th July 2022

Ruxolitinib cream has become the first FDA-approved treatment for the re-pigmentation of skin in patients with non-segmental vitiligo

Ruxolitinib cream has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of non-segmental vitiligo, the manufacturer Incyte has announced.

Ruxolitinib is a Janus kinase inhibitor and the cream has already shown anti-inflammatory and prompt antipruritic effects in the management of patients with atopic eczema.

The FDA decision to approve ruxolitinib (brand name Opzelura) was based on the findings of two clinical trials, TRuE-V1 and TRuE-V2. Both were similar in design and evaluated the efficacy and safety of ruxolitinib cream in adolescent (12 years and older) and adult participants with non-segmental vitiligo for whom the vitiligo involved area (facial and non-facial) did not exceed 10% of their body surface area (BSA).

In each of the trials, participants were randomised received ruxolitinib cream 1.5% or vehicle for 24 weeks which was applied twice daily. Following on from the initial 24 week period, participants were offered the opportunity to continue in the treatment extension arm for up to 52 weeks.

The primary endpoint for both trials was the facial Vitiligo Area Scoring Index (F-VASI75) and a 75% improvement from baseline in the F-VASI (F-VASI75) has been identified as within-patient clinically meaningful thresholds.

Ruxolitinib cream: clinical efficacy

A dose ranging Phase II randomised trial did provide evidence for the effectiveness of the treatment. In the trial, 157 patients (mean age, 48·3 years, 46% male), with depigmentation of 0·5% or more of their facial body surface area (BSA) and 3% or more of their non-facial BSA, were randomised 1:1:1:1 to receive ruxolitinib cream (1·5% twice daily, 1·5% once daily, 0·5% once daily, or 0·15% once daily) or vehicle twice daily.

The primary endpoint was a F-VASI50 after 24 weeks and this was achieved after 24 weeks by 45% of patients using the 1.5% cream twice daily and 50% of those using the same strength once daily compared to only 3% receiving placebo.

Although the results of TRuE-V1 and V2 are not yet published, the manufacturer reports that after 24 weeks, approximately 30% of patients using ruxolitinib cream achieved the primary endpoint compared with approximately 8% of those using the vehicle in TRuE-V1 and 13% in TRuE-V2.

Additionally, after 24 weeks, more than 15% of those receiving ruxolitinib cream achieved a F-VASI90 (i.e., 90% improvement from baseline), compared to approximately 2% of patients treated with vehicle.  At week 52, approximately 50% of ruxolitinib cream patients achieved the primary endpoint and 30% had achieved a F-VASI90.

Vitiligo has two main types, non-segmental and segmental with the former being symmetrical, whereas the latter is more localised. Non-segmental vitiligo is the more common form and accounts for 85–90% of cases.

Ruxolitinib cream has yet to be approved by the European Medicines Agency, but it is currently under review by the organisation.