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?
Medically-proven hair loss treatment
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.
Efficacy and safety
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
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.