Efficacy and Safety of Fixed-Dose Triple-Combination Clindamycin Phosphate 1.2%/Adapalene 0.15%/Benzoyl Peroxide 3.1% Gel for Moderate-to-Severe Acne Vulgaris in Children and Adolescents

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Lawrence Eichenfield
Adelaide Hebert
Julie Harper
Hilary Baldwin
Neal Bhatia
Linda Stein Gold
Leon Kircik
Emmy Graber
Emil Tanghetti
Andrew Alexis
James Del Rosso


efficacy, safety, acne vulgaris, pediatric, topical, clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide, adapalene


Background: Topical clindamycin phosphate 1.2%/adapalene 0.15%/benzoyl peroxide 3.1% (CAB) gel is the first fixed-dose triple-combination formulation approved for acne vulgaris and is indicated for use in patients aged 12 years and older. As topical acne treatment in pediatric patients may be complicated by tolerability issues and/or a perceived lack of efficacy, the objective of this post hoc analysis was to investigate the efficacy and safety of CAB in children and adolescents.

Methods: Data were pooled from two phase 3 double-blind, randomized, 12-week studies (NCT04214639; NCT04214652). Eligible participants ≥9 years of age with moderate-to-severe acne were randomized (2:1) to once-daily CAB or vehicle gel. This analysis evaluated adolescents aged 12-17 years (CAB: n=123; vehicle: n=50). Endpoints included ≥2-grade reduction from baseline in Evaluator’s Global Severity Score and clear/almost clear skin (treatment success), least-squares mean percent change from baseline in inflammatory/noninflammatory lesions, and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs). Descriptive efficacy and safety data for five children aged 10-11 years enrolled in the study are also summarized (CAB: n=3; vehicle: n=2).

Results: At week 12, 51.5% of CAB–treated participants aged ≥12 years achieved treatment success vs 24.9% with vehicle gel (P<0.01). CAB treatment resulted in significant reductions of >70% in inflammatory and noninflammatory lesion counts in adolescents (78.3% and 73.7%, respectively) vs vehicle (50.5% and 42.9%; P<0.001, both). Most TEAEs were of mild-to-moderate severity, and the most common (>3% in any treatment) treatment-related TEAE was application site pain. Less than 2.5% of participants withdrew due to AEs. For the 5 children aged <12 years, all 3 treated with CAB achieved treatment success, with reductions in inflammatory/noninflammatory lesions ranging from 76%-100%; neither vehicle-treated participant achieved treatment success. Only one CAB–treated younger participant experienced TEAEs (application site pain/dryness, and erythema [all mild/moderate]) and none discontinued the study.

Conclusions: In two pooled phase 3 studies, once-daily CAB gel—the first approved fixed-dose, triple-combination topical formulation for acne vulgaris—was well tolerated and efficacious in pediatric participants with moderate-to-severe acne, with over half achieving treatment success at week 12.

Funding: Ortho Dermatologics


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