A Pennsylvania-based biopharmaceutical company has announced that it has an open US Investigation New Drug application in support of a Phase 2 clinical trial of a new gel that they hope may prove revolutionary in the field of hair loss.
The company, TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corporation, are testing a gel they have named SHAPE – suberohydroxamic acid (4-methoxycarbonyl) phenyl ester – for use on people with Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune disorder which manifests itself as sudden, patchy hair loss.
They see promise in the fact that SHAPE is an HDAC inhibitor (HDAC being histone deacetylase, a class of enzymes) and hope that by maximising HDAC inhibition locally (on the scalp) it will help in cases of Alopecia Areata.
Topical therapy for Alopecia Areata
Explains J. Kevin Buchi, the company’s President and CEO: “A topical therapy which minimises systemic exposure could provide an attractive new treatment option to the millions of Alopecia Areata sufferers. We are excited to advance SHAPE into a second indication and another Phase 2 trial.”
The trials will involve 40 people with Alopecia Areata – statistics show that up to two per cent of the global population will be affected by the condition during their lifetime. The gel itself is also being developed as a topical treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). One of it’s reported advantages is that it is designed to maximise HDAC inhibition locally in the skin with limited systemic exposure. As a result, say the company, SHAPE has characteristics that could allow it to be used topically over large body surface areas with minimal systemic absorption.
Hair loss drugs trialled
TetraLogic’s trials are certainly not the only ones taking place around the world using a product that is also used in cancer treatment. One of them, Baricitinib, is a JAK inhibitor that has seen interesting results on people with Alopecia Areata; another JAK inhibitor which is showing significant promise in this area is made by Pfizer and sold under the brand name Xeljanz.
While none of these products are yet commercially available for use on patients with Alopecia Areata, they hint at some new, promising options in the future.
For anyone concerned that they are experiencing this condition now, treatment for Alopecia Areata in its moderate stage – affecting patches of the scalp, not causing complete baldness of the entire head and/or body as with Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis – can be effective. Applying daily doses of high strength minoxidil to the affected areas of the scalp has produced encouraging regrowth results for many Belgravia clients, and a hair loss specialist will be able to assess an individual’s suitability for treatment during a free tricho-check.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.