Highlights from

AAD 2019

American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting

Washington D.C. 1-5 March 2019

New standardised cantharidin product against molluscum contagiosum efficacious in two phase 3 trials

The two trials CAMP-1 and CAMP-2 demonstrated a high efficacy of VP-102, a topical therapy containing a solution of 0.7% cantharidin in a novel, single-use applicator to treat and eradicate molluscum contagiosum (MC) [1].

MC is a common and highly contagious skin disease. Since it is self-limited in healthy individuals, treatment is not always necessary. Nonetheless, issues such as lesion visibility, underlying atopic disease, and the desire to prevent transmission may prompt therapy. "Sometimes the infection persists for over 2 years, so there is a medical need for an approved treatment for this disease," said Prof. Lawrence Eichenfield (University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Rady´s Children´s Hospital, USA).

Current treatment consists of cryosurgery curettage followed by cantharidin treatment. VP-102 is a novel standardised cantharidin product with a special applicator that allows precise dosing of MC lesions. It contains a visualisation agent to identify which lesions have been treated. The active ingredient cantharidin is a naturally occurring vesicant that causes degeneration of the desmosomal plaque through protease activation. Another advantage of this novel product is its long-term stability at room temperature.

Prof. Eichenfield presented two randomised, double-blind, multicentre, placebo-controlled trials that evaluated the efficacy of VP-102 compared with placebo in subjects with MC. In total, the trials enrolled 528 subjects age 2 and older with MC at 31 centres in the United States. Subjects were treated once every 21 days with topical solution of 0.7% cantharidin for up to 4 applications. Complete clearance of molluscum lesions was evaluated by assessment of the number of lesions at study visits over 12 weeks.

After this time, 46% of subjects treated with VP-102 in the CAMP-1, and 54% percent of participants treated in the CAMP-2 trial achieved complete clearance of all treatable molluscum lesions vs 18% and 13% of subjects in the placebo groups (P<0.0001 in both studies). By day 84, VP-102 treated subjects had a 69% and 83% mean reduction in the number of molluscum lesions, a pre-specified endpoint, in CAMP-1 and CAMP-2 respectively, compared with a 20% increase and a 19% reduction for patients on the vehicle cream.

VP-102 was well tolerated in both trials; most adverse events were in the mild category in both studies. "An approved therapy that can minimise molluscum infection would be certainly very helpful for our patients and their parents," concluded Prof. Eichenfield.

keywords: molluscum contagiosum, VP-102, cantharidin

  1. Eichenfield LF. Abstract 11251, AAD Annual Meeting, 1-5 March 2019, Washington DC, USA.

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