Researchers at Yale University in America are recruiting people with Alopecia Areata – the autoimmune disorder that leads to patchy hair loss – for a further study into the use of a drug which has already shown itself to be very promising.
Having already seen impressive regrowth in one-third of the patients who took a JAK inhibitor drug named tofacitinib orally, the team at Yale now want to see if they have better results with a topical version of tofacitinib, specifically, an ointment to be rubbed into the scalp. Topical application could also potentially mean a decreased risk of serious side-effects.
The study is being led by Dr Brett King, a name frequently associated of late with some of the most pioneering research into new treatments for Alopecia Areata and its related conditions.
Just last month Dr King’s team, working with researchers from Stanford University, announced that of the 66 people they treated with the rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib citrate (brand name: Xeljanz), 32 per cent had seen a 50 per cent or greater improvement in their SALT score (a measure of the severity of Alopecia).
Clearly convinced of the merits of the drug as a possible future treatment option for people with Alopecia Areata, Dr King is now forging ahead with a new trial set to involve 10 patients with at least two patches of Alopecia Areata on their scalp. They will be given tofacitinib ointment for a maximum of six months. People with Alopecia Universalis and Alopecia Totalis – the more extreme forms of autoimmune hair loss – are also invited to take part in the trial.
The trial was first announced by Dr King back in June, but has only just started recruiting. Inclusion criteria information for the trial notes that participants need to be aged 18 or over, that they need to have stable hairloss that has been present for six months or longer, and that they must not have been treated for Alopecia Areata in the past month. Dr King is also excluding anyone whose current episode of Alopecia Universalis or Alopecia Totalis is more than five years.
Primary completion date for the study is expected to be July 2017. Contact details for anyone interested in taking part in the study can be found in the trial registration at clinicaltrials.gov. Please be aware that Belgravia is not involved in these trials and we cannot submit information or requests to the researchers.
JAK inhibitors have certainly shaken up the hair loss community over the past couple of years, and the race to develop them for use as a treatment for Alopecia Areata and possibly even the genetic conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss is well and truly underway. Much of the progress is being made at Yale, Stanford and Columbia Universities, with the US institutions sometimes working together.
As has been pointed out before, however, JAK inhibitors are strong drugs that have known side-effects when taken in their usual oral form. However, topical application could potentially mean a decreased risk of serious side-effects. There are certainly hurdles that this crop of janus kinase inhibitor drugs need to overcome before they are deemed safe for general use on people with hair loss.
Whilst the findings likely can’t come soon enough for those with the currently untreatable conditions Alopecia Totalis and Universalis, many people with the mild-to-moderate patchy form of autoimmune hair loss can be treated right now with a bespoke alopecia areata treatment course.
By using appropriate formulations of the clinically-proven genetic hair loss treatment, high strength minoxidil, applied directly to the affected areas, Belgravia’s specialists have seen many AA clients successfully regrow their hair.
Information correct as at 1st November 2016
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.