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Topical Alopecia Totalis and Universalis JAK Inhibitor Treatment Trial


More details have emerged of a clinical trial in which a topical solution of a new drug will be trialled on people whose hair loss has been caused by extreme forms of the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata.

Pennsylvania-based Aclaris Therapeutics had already announced its intention to try its new topical drug ATI-50002 on people with Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis, which both lead to total hair loss on the entire head and are currently very difficult to treat. What marks the latter condition out is that that all body hair is shed, too.

Areas of the Head and Body Affected By Alopecia Areata

Areas of the Head and Body Affected By Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis

Topical application for 28 days

Now, in its latest update on the clinicaltrials.gov website, the company says it is recruiting for a Phase 2 clinical trial featuring 12 participants, who will each be given ATI-50002 – applied topically to their scalp – twice-daily, for 28 days. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the new drug.

The race towards novel clinically-proven, safe new treatment options for the most severe forms of autoimmune alopecia is driven in part by the fact that people with these conditions have no compelling solutions as yet.

This is not the case when people present with Alopecia Areata, which involves sudden, patchy bald spots or rounded patches to the scalp only and is the second most common cause of hair loss worldwide, behind male and female pattern baldness.

Not only does the hair grow back naturally within around 12 months in many cases, but Alopecia Areata treatment can often be effective in helping to accelerate this hair regrowth.

Hair loss solutions for Alopecia Areata phenotypes

A Belgravia, success has been seen when treating scalp-only Alopecia Areata with formulations of high-strength minoxidil from those available at the hairloss clinics’ in-house pharmacies. This is often used in tandem with appropriate hair growth boosters, based on each client’s individual needs.

Aclaris has been working closely with one of the most respected names in the field of hair loss research: Dr Angela Christiano of Columbia University in New York. Cristiano and her colleagues have been investigating several JAK inhibitor drugs as potential new treatments for various hair loss conditions, and have grabbed multiple headlines in the process as these medications were originally developed to treat certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions.

The fact that they have so far shown great promise in relation to hair regrowth for people with total baldness from Alopecia Totalis and Universalis is a hugely encouraging prospect. Not to mention an exciting one for those affected who, until now, were often only offered counselling and/or wigs as a coping mechanism.

Aclaris has acquired various patents for some of the Columbia team’s proposed new treatment options and has also obtained other license agreements pertaining to JAK inhibitors and autoimmune hair loss.

The small-scale ATI-50002 trial proposed by the company will take place in New York and will be a randomised, double blind study. It is thought that the company’s long term plan may be to offer this topically-applied drug alongside an oral drug with what could well be similar properties that is currently known as ATI-50001.

Whilst drug trials do tend to take many years in order to fully determine a medication’s safety, efficacy and tolerability, the Columbia research has been on-going for a number of years already. As such, and assuming everything goes to plan, it is currently estimated that – should they receive the proper medical regulatory boards’ approval – these drugs may be ready to release for prescription use by 2021.

The Belgravia CentreThe 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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