Ruxolitinib cream is in development for the treatment of vitiligo. Vitiligo is a common chronic skin condition where white patches develop on the skin, commonly on the hands and face. The condition is not life-threatening but can have an impact on self-esteem and wellbeing of sufferers. Risk factors include other autoimmune diseases and family history of the disease. The cause of vitiligo is not fully understood but it is thought it may be an autoimmune condition. There are no licensed treatments specifically for vitiligo which highlights the unmet need of these patients.
Ruxolitinib cream is a topical formulation of the active substance ruxolitinib. Ruxolitinib works as a selective inhibitor by blocking the proteins which are involved in the downstream signalling of the immune system. Preventing the binding of these proteins reduces the immune response. If licensed, administered topically, ruxolitinib cream would offer a pharmacological treatment for patients with vitiligo who currently rely on non-specific and/or unlicensed medicines to treat their condition.