Clinical-stage biotechnology firm Ziarco Group has enrolled first patient in its Phase IIa proof-of-concept clinical trial of ZPL-389, which is being studied for atopic dermatitis.

The company has dosed the first patient at the Clinical Research in Manchester, UK.

ZPL-389 is the firm’s new, once-daily oral histamine H4 receptor antagonist that is being developed to treat inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Ziarco chief medical officer Dr Pablo Jimenez said: "The initiation of this Phase IIa study is a key milestone in the development of ZPL-389 and the treatment of inflammation and pruritus.

"Our oral H4 receptor antagonist has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients with inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis by providing them with a safe, effective and convenient treatment."

The study is a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled and parallel group trial that will enrol up to 90 adult patients. It will determine the safety and efficacy of oral ZPL-389 in adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

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According to the firm, the primary endpoint is to measure the effects of eight weeks of treatment of an oral and once daily 30mg dose of ZPL-389 on pruritus or itching, compared to placebo.

The trial will also analyse the quality of life measures.

Ziarco’s other compound includes ZPL-521, a cPLA2 inhibitor being studied for inflammatory skin disease.

Image: Atopic dermatitis of the anterior flextural crease of the elbow. Photo: courtesy of James Heilman, MD.