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FDA approves expanded use of AbbVie’s arthritis drug to treat eczema

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved expanded use of AbbVie Inc’s arthritis drug to treat eczema, a skin condition, the company announced Friday.

Rinvoq’s approval for the treatment of moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, or eczema, was for patients 12 years of age and older who are unresponsive to prior treatment or when the use of other treatments is not recommended .

Rinvoq’s approval follows significant delays due to safety concerns of the class of drugs it belongs to, called JAK inhibitors, which block inflammation-causing enzymes called Janus kinases and target a range of autoimmune diseases.

Last month, the FDA added its strictest warning to the labels of JAK inhibitor drugs from Pfizer, Eli Lilly and AbbVie following the agency’s review of Pfizer’s Xeljanz, in which early results of one trial showed an increased risk of serious heart problems and cancer in some patients treated with the drug. (Reporting by Leroy Leo; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)