“Narrow Pathway’-Targeted Immune Therapy May Spare Patients from Side Effects

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 – May 13, 2014 /Press Release/  –– 

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a research team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai $2.7 million to study systemic treatments for patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema. Currently, no treatments are available that achieve long-term remission without difficult side effects for this debilitating skin disorder, characterized by inflammation, severe itching, and a rash that can adversely affect many aspects of everyday life.

The team will investigate the efficacy of a new intravenous medication, ILV-094, which blocks IL-22, an important protein that has been shown in animal models to trigger epidermal growth and differentiation abnormalities and chronic inflammation, which are major features of AD.   The researchers see the study as potentially groundbreaking in using “narrow pathway”-targeted immune interventions for not just AD, but other “allergic” inflammatory diseases of the skin or other organs, such as asthma.

At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology, and Director of the Center for Excellence in Eczema and the Laboratory for Inflammatory Skin Diseases leads the study, with Mark Lebwohl, MD, Professor and Chair of Dermatology and James G. Krueger, MD, PhD, D. Martin Carter Professor and head of the Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology at The Rockefeller University as co-PIs. Dr. Guttman has a joint appointment at Rockefeller and will oversee the clinical and mechanistic studies at both institutions.

Dr. Guttman was the first investigator to show in humans that a separate population of T cells secrete interleukin 22 (IL-22) and she also discovered the importance of the Th22 pathway and IL-22 in AD.

“Dr. Guttman has been at the forefront of many of the most important strides in understanding the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis,” said Dr. Lebwohl. “This trial is an important step in developing safer treatments for patients with moderate to severe AD.”

“I hope that this research results in a final proof of concept and a novel treatment for AD without side effects,” said Dr. Guttman. The clinical trial is expected to last five years. The majority of the clinical trial, will be conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides outstanding care using the latest advances in dermatology care. Adult and pediatric patients are seen in the Dermatology Clinic, the Inpatient Consult Service, and the Faculty Practice. The Department has several divisions, including General Dermatology, Clinical Trials Department, Dermatopathology Division, Dermatologic Surgery, Dermatology Research Laboratories, and Inpatient Consultative Service. The Department has been involved in many leading clinical trials that have paved the way to the latest standards of care in dermatology diseases.

About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.


The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12-minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

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