Author: Sarah Belgravia
Aclaris Therapeutics, one of the pharmaceutical companies at the forefront of developing JAK inhibitor treatments for all forms of Alopecia Areata, has announced a new clinical trial.
Following studies into its novel drug known as ATI-50002 as a scalp hair loss solution for Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, the topical solution will now be investigated for its potential to regrow eyebrow hair.
Whilst the drug is being trialled for the most mild to the most severe forms, it is quite rare for people with scalp-only Alopecia Areata to also experience eyebrow shedding.
Twice daily applications
An open-label study comprising 12 participants aged 18 years and over with various forms of autoimmune alopecia that includes complete hairloss in at least one eyebrow, will start soon, having commenced its recruitment process in April 2018. Both men and women who meet the eligibility criteria can take part.
This includes not being pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the study, being in generally good health, not having any active or latent bacterial or viral infections, scalp conditions, HIV, Hepatitiis B or C, and no history of eyebrow tattooing or microblading. Those whose eyebrow hair loss is likely to be permanent – either due to over-plucking or scarring alopecia – are also excluded from the Florida-based study.
Entitled ‘An Open-Label Pilot Study of the Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of ATI-50002 Topical Solution Administered Twice-Daily in Adult Subjects With Eyebrow Loss Due to Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Universalis or Alopecia Totalis’, the trial registration information states that this is a Phase 2 trial.
Participants will apply the ATI-50002 medication directly to the affected areas of their brows twice per day for 24 weeks. As the time-frame information for the period during which volunteers will take part in the trial is ‘anticipated to be a maximum of 233 days’, this suggests there will be on-going monitoring of brow hair regrowth for around three months after the initial 168-day active treatment phase.
Aclaris currently estimates the study’s completion date to be December 2018.
Not available yet
In 2015, another JAK inhibitor, ruxolitinib, was also tested as a cream-based treatment for eyebrow hair loss in a patient with severe Alopecia Areata. The results were promising, with significant regrowth being visible by the 12 week mark. This was, however, a one-off incident and it is hoped that this wider-ranging trial – whilst still small in scale – can produce similarly impressive results.
Whilst Alopecia Areata treatment is currently available for the scalp-only form, the further-reaching forms which cause baldness of the entire head or all hair-bearing areas, currently have no reliable options. Until such time as a treatment is developed, those concerned about eyebrow hair loss have a range of cosmetic options, including eyebrow wigs and microblading.
JAK inhibition is just one area being investigated and is currently one of the great hopes people with Alopecia Totalis and Universalis have for regrowing hair in the future. Developing hair loss treatments is a lengthy process, especially when it is a novel solution rather than an alternative to an existing option. Whilst no JAK inhibitors are yet available to treat any hair loss conditions, clinical trials of both topical and oral treatments are still on-going. Therefore estimated development schedules are subject to change based on their findings, but it is thought that the first JAK inhibitor alopecia treatments could be available by 2021.
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