Efficacy and Safety of Clindamycin Phosphate 1.2%/Adapalene 0.15%/Benzoyl Peroxide 3.1% Gel in Females with Moderate to Severe Acne: Post Hoc Analysis by Age

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Julie Harper
Linda Stein Gold
Hilary Baldwin
Valerie Callender
Michael Gold
Heather Woolery-Lloyd
Leon Kircik


clindamycin phosphate, adapalene, benzoyl peroxide, acne vulgaris, females, age, efficacy, safety


Introduction: While acne is common in adolescents, the overall prevalence in adults is increasing, especially among females. In addition, acne in older females is associated with greater negative impacts on quality of life. Clindamycin phosphate 1.2%/adapalene 0.15%/benzoyl peroxide (BPO) 3.1% (CAB) gel—the first fixed-dose, triple-combination topical product approved for acne—has demonstrated good efficacy, safety, and tolerability in participants with moderate-to-severe acne. The objective of this analysis is to assess the impact of age on efficacy, safety, and tolerability in females with moderate-to-severe acne.

Methods: In one phase 2 (N=741; NCT03170388) and two identically designed phase 3 (N=183; N=180; NCT04214639; NCT04214652), double-blind, randomized, 12-week studies, participants aged ≥9 years with moderate-to-severe acne were randomized to receive once-daily CAB or vehicle gel; the phase 2 study included three additional dyad randomization arms (data not shown). Coprimary endpoints comprised inflammatory and noninflammatory lesion counts and treatment success (≥2-grade reduction from baseline in Evaluator’s Global Severity Score and score of ‘clear’ or ‘almost clear’). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and cutaneous safety and tolerability were also assessed. Pooled data from these studies were analyzed post hoc from female participants categorized by age: 9-24 years (n=274) and ≥25 years (n=121).

Results: At week 12 in both age groups, least-squares mean percent reductions from baseline were >70% in CAB-treated females versus vehicle gel for inflammatory (9-24 y: 77.8% vs 53.8%; ≥25 y: 77.8% vs 60.5%; P<0.01, both) and noninflammatory lesions (9-24 y: 72.8% vs 44.5%; ≥25 y: 73.7% vs 55.2%; P<0.001, both). Half of CAB-treated females in both age groups achieved treatment success at week 12 versus less than one-quarter with vehicle (9-24 y: 54.1% vs 15.6%; ≥25 y: 50.1% vs 22.5%; P<0.01, both). Most TEAEs were mild-to-moderate in severity, with rates similar to the overall pooled phase 2 and 3 populations. Although there were transient increases in the severity of cutaneous safety/tolerability assessments with CAB, scores generally returned to or near baseline levels for most assessments by week 12 in younger and older females. No notable age-related trends in safety were observed.

Conclusions: With greater than 70% lesion reductions and half of participants achieving treatment success by week 12, the innovative, fixed-dose triple combination clindamycin phosphate 1.2%/adapalene 0.15%/BPO 3.1% gel demonstrated good efficacy, safety, and tolerability in both younger and older females with moderate-to-severe acne.

Funding: Ortho Dermatologics


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