This exploratory study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy profile of the topical phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor E6005 in Japanese children with mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. The present randomized, multicenter study included 62 patients who were treated with 0.05% E6005, 0.2% E6005 or vehicle ointment twice daily for 2 weeks. Safety and pharmacokinetics were assessed with a focus on the occurrence of adverse events and the whole blood concentrations of E6005 and its metabolite. Exploratory efficacy evaluations included assessments of lesion severity and pruritus score. The 2-week application of topical E6005 was safe and well tolerated with no cutaneous adverse events. The whole blood concentration of E6005 was quantified in only one subject receiving 0.2% E6005 treatment, while its major metabolite was undetectable. The 0.2% E6005 group showed a greater decrease in the severity score than the vehicle group (−45.94% vs −32.26%), although this difference was not statistically significant. Similarly, the treatment success rate according to the investigator's global assessment of the total application sites was higher in the 0.2% E6005 group than in the vehicle group (34.4% vs 20.0%). Moreover, the 0.2% E6005 group showed a greater decrease in the pruritus score than the vehicle group (−37.5% vs −6.7%) in a predefined subpopulation. The efficacy of 0.05% E6005 treatment was comparable to that of vehicle treatment. These results suggest that topical 0.2% E6005 treatment is safe and effective in children with atopic dermatitis, although further large confirmatory clinical trials are warranted.
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