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Eczema Treatments May Provide New Alopecia Areata Research Avenue


The news this month that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has bought a company named Anacor Pharmaceuticals could prove important for people with autoimmune-related hair loss.

Pfizer’s $5.2bn purchase of the ‘smaller’ company means that the multinational now has access to one of the most interesting new products in development for the treatment of eczema. And as eczema is an autoimmune condition – like Alopecia Areata, which leads to patchy hair loss – the likelihood of the pharma giant wanting to test the products out on people with other autoimmune conditions is high.

PfizerClosely linked

This is because autoimmune disorders are often closely linked – with the result that a product developed to treat one autoimmune disorder often works well on another. Furthermore, drugs in general have an uncanny way of working wonders on conditions they were never created for.

A perfect example is the various prescription JAK inhibitor products on the market – designed to treat everything from bone cancer to rheumatoid arthritis – which are showing promise at regrowing hair lost to Alopecia Areata and its more extreme iterations Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis which cause complete baldness of the head and entire body respectively. They have also been mentioned as a possible future treatment option for people with the genetic hair loss conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

The Pfizer deal puts the pharma giants in control of a product named Crisaborole, a steroid-free topical ointment which is said to have proved highly effective in trials at treating people with eczema. It is currently being reviewed by US regulators.

Writing about the Pfizer deal, Reuters news agency also highlighted a company named Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, whose injectable eczema therapy named Dupilumab, which is expected to go on sale this year, also “greatly reduced eczema symptoms in late-stage trials.” Reuters state that the two medicines could eventually see global sales of over $9bn.

It is thought that Dupilumab will be better suited to patients with more advanced eczema, whereas Crisaborole works well on people with a more moderate complaint.

Autoimmune response

Crisaborole targets and inhibits IL-12, IL-23 and a number of cytokines involved in the autoimmune response for eczema. Dupilumab, meanwhile, is designed to be a treatment for atopic conditions and its antibody is able to bind to and modify the IL-13 pathway, among others.

Previous studies have linked IL-13 to Alopecia Areata, so the results of these drugs’ clinical trials could be the starting point for further development of a potential Alopecia Areata treatment. Currently many dermatologists use steroid creams to treat both conditions despite the side-effects and pretty low success rates for the mild version of the condition.

Belgravia clients with Alopecia Areata have often experienced significant, and even in many cases total, regrowth results through using personally recommended high strength minoxidil preparations from the range offered at our hair loss clinics. This topical treatment is applied only where needed and can be combined with various boosters for a comprehensive course of Alopecia Areata treatment.

The Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic - Hair Loss Specialist ConsultationThe 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.

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