Importance: Bullous pemphigoid is a difficult-to-treat autoimmune blistering skin disease that predominantly affects older adults and is associated with an increased mortality rate.
Objective: To examine the safety and therapeutic potential of nomacopan, an inhibitor of leukotriene B4and complement C5, in patients with bullous pemphigoid.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This multicenter, single-group, phase 2a nonrandomized controlled trial was conducted in the dermatology departments of universities in the Netherlands and Germany. Participants were enrolled between September 2018 and April 2020. Older adult patients (aged ≥55 years) with mild to moderate, new-onset or relapsing bullous pemphigoid were recruited into the study.
Interventions: Patients received nomacopan, 90 mg, subcutaneously on day 1 and 30 mg subcutaneously daily until day 42.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was the proportion of patients with grade 3 to 5 (severe) adverse events associated or possibly associated with nomacopan. Secondary end points included mean absolute and percentage changes in the Bullous Pemphigoid Disease Area Index (BPDAI) activity score, the BPDAI pruritus score, and the patient-reported outcome measures Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and Treatment of Autoimmune Bullous Disease Quality of Life (TABQOL).
Results: A total of 9 patients (median [range] age, 75 [55-85] years) with bullous pemphigoid were included in the trial, of whom 5 were women (55.6%). No serious adverse events associated with nomacopan were found. The mean (90% CI) BPDAI activity score decreased from 32.0 (8.7) points on day 1 to 19.6 (9.0) points on day 42. Seven of 9 patients (77.8%) responded to nomacopan with a reduction in the BPDAI activity score of at least 8 points between days 1 and 42; in 3 responders, the reduction was 80% or greater. On day 42, the mean (90% CI) BPDAI pruritus score had decreased by 6.8 (4.6) points from 17.6 (4.0) points on day 1. The mean (90% CI) DLQI score decreased from 11.3 (4.2) points at baseline to 6.4 (3.8) points by day 42, and the mean (90% CI) TABQOL score decreased from 14.6 (5.4) points at baseline to 10.3 (5.0) points on day 42.
Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this nonrandomized controlled trial suggest that nomacopan can be well tolerated in older patients with bullous pemphigoid and may have therapeutic benefits for suppressing acute flares of this disease. A larger, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial is warranted to confirm this safety profile and to establish nomacopan as a new therapeutic option for bullous pemphigoid.
Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04035733.