At the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting Dr. Brett King announced JAK inhibitors to be a "really valuable class of medicines" in relation to addressing dermatological concerns such as the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata.
This hopeful proclamation came despite disappointing results from some of the many on-going trials currently treating autoimmune hair loss with various drugs from the janus kinase inhibitor suite.
Now, a new clinical trial due to take place in China aims to further Dr. King's assertions.
Suzhou Zelgen Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd is preparing to start a Phase 2 trial of Jaktinib hydrochloride tablets to treat Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis - the mildest and two most extensive and severe forms of Alopecia.
Alopecia Areata at its mildest causes patchy hair loss that presents as rounded bald spots on the scalp only, however Alopecia Totalis leads to baldness of the head, including losing all facial hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, whilst Alopecia Universalis leaves those affected completely hairless from head to toe.
Alopecia Areata treatment is generally only reliable in cases of the scalp-only phenotype at the moment, with normal hair regrowth resuming naturally of its own accord within 12 months for most people. For these two more extreme iterations, there are no real safe and effective treatment options for adults or children.
This new clinical trial, scheduled to start in September 2019, will feature 104 adults - a mix of male and female candidates who are all over 18 years of age - with any of these three forms of Alopecia Areata.
The study will comprise two arms; One will take one 150mg tablet of Jaktinib hydrochloride once per day, the other will take a 200mg dose once per day.
Efficacy rates, SALT score changes and patient quality of life will be used to assess the drugs' performance after six months of consecutive treatment, with adverse events also being recorded to gauge its safety.
Initial results are due by 1st September 2020, with the final study completion date currently listed as 1st November 2021, according to its trial registration information.
This Suzhou Zelgen Biopharmaceuticals trial can be added to the list of pharmaceutical companies and university medical teams trying to develop suitable JAK inhibitor treatment for Alopecia Areata in all its forms, that will be safe, effective and tolerable for patients.
Concert Pharmaceuticals has been quietly ploughing on with its work in this area, with the last updates from May 2019 stating that it is currently comparing doses in order to find the optimal dosage for its CTP-543 candidate.
Aclaris Therapeutics had seemingly been leading the pack with regards using JAK inhibitors to treat Alopecia Areata until its recent stumble; it was speculated that this may count them out of the race but this has not yet been confirmed - nor denied - by the company directly.
Until such time as one of these novel treatments has sufficient positive data to be licensed by the MHRA in the UK and cleared by the FDA in the USA, anyone experiencing sudden hair loss from their scalp or body is encouraged to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Whilst a dedicated hair loss clinic can often offer assistance to over 16s with the scalp-only form, the first port of call for children, or adults who are losing hair from other areas of their head of bodies as well as their scalp should be their GP or dermatologist.
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.
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