Clinical Implementation of Biologics and Small Molecules in the Treatment of Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Pim Aarts*, Koen Dudink, Allard R.J.V. Vossen, Kelsey R. van Straalen, Christine B. Ardon, Errol P. Prens, Hessel H. van der Zee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

24 Citations (Scopus)


Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, recurrent, auto-inflammatory skin disease originating from the hair follicles. The typical inflammatory nodules, abscesses, and draining sinus tracts (tunnels) are characterized by a massive influx of neutrophils, macrophages, B-cells, plasma cells, T helper (Th)1, Th17 cells and upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-17, IL-12/23, and TNF-α. Over the last decades, several clinical trials evaluated the clinical efficacy of different biologics targeting these pro-inflammatory cytokines, in particular TNF-α and IL-1. However, adalimumab is still the only registered drug for HS. This review discusses biologics and small molecules with high level of evidence for their clinical application, provides guidance on when and how to use these biologics and small molecules in clinical practice, and elaborates on the combination with medical and surgical treatment options beyond the current guidelines. Furthermore this review provides an overview of potential biologics and small molecules currently under investigation for novel targets in HS such as IL-36, C5a, Janus kinase family members, CD-40, LTA4 and CXCR1/2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1410
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2021

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