A global player in the field of dermatology is keeping its cards close to its chest with regards exactly what kind of drug it is using in a new trial aimed at treating Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disorder which leads to sudden, patchy hair loss.
In fact, the only clue that company Copenhagen-headquartered LEO Pharma is giving away in its trial information is that its topical ointment “LEO 124249” is to be applied twice a day.
The sharp-eyed might observe that another drug the renowned hair loss drug Minoxidil is also usually applied topically twice per day. Could the company be adapting Minoxidil for specific use on people with Alopecia Areata? Or is their formula something different entirely?
If the answer is the former, then their work would not be unprecedented as Belgravia has successfully used high strength minoxidil on a great many people with Alopecia Areata. Minoxidil is one of just two medically-proven hair loss treatments that have been licensed by the MHRA for treatment of the genetic hair loss conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss, however it is widely believed that certain formulations can be effective on other hair loss conditions, too.
The LEO Pharma trial may of course be centred on something entirely different. Because Alopecia Areata can be difficult to treat, there are multiple studies ongoing around the world in the hope of finding new treatments. Several involve the use of JAK inhibitors a family of powerful drugs designed to treat everything from certain cancers to rheumatoid arthritis.
While there is no suggestion that this kind of drug is behind LEO Pharma’s trial, it is fair to say that the company is a leading authority in the field of psoriasis treatment. This is interesting when considering the fact that some JAK inhibitors have been trialled as a treatment for plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis, like Alopecia Areata, is also an autoimmune disorder.
What the company has revealed is that 35 people will be involved in their double-blind Phase II trial, and that primary completion is expected in September. An end-date of December 2016 has been given for the trial, by which time researchers aim to have gathered data pertaining to the efficacy and safety of LEO 124249. Part of their goal, they state in the trial registration at clinicaltrials.gov, is to explore Alopecia Areata’s “disease mechanism and its biomarkers.”
What does perhaps indicate that their topical ointment may not be Minoxidil is the fact that the company accepted people with more extreme forms of Alopecia Areata in the study; Minoxidil has little effect on hair regrowth for the more severe conditions Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, though people with both were eligible to take part.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.