Hope for the 200,000 people every year diagnosed with alopecia areata, a type of sudden hair loss that starts with circular bald patches, as a new drug has been shown to regrow 80% or more of patients’ hair within a year.
A trial is underway for a new drug US researchers have discovered can counter alopecia areata, a type of hair loss in which the body attacks its own healthy hair follicles, starting out as patchy baldness.
Concert Pharmaceuticals is conducting human trials of a twice-daily pill that works by inhibiting the immune response, which prevents it from attacking hair follicles.
Specifically, the drug inhibits an enzyme that is activated during the immune response, called JAK1 and JAK2, which make up a group called janus kinases. When the body creates too much of these, it leads to the inflammatory immune responses responsible for causing alopecia.
This week, the company released the discoveries it has made in its phase 3 trials which involved 706 adults with alopecia who ranged in age from 85 to 65, who live in the US, Canada, and Europe over the course of 24 weeks, LADBible reported.
On average, participants only had 16 percent of their hair remaining before starting the drug trial, and no participant had more than 50 percent of their hair.
According to the company, so far, the trial has shown that the new drug is effective on 40% of participants – with four in ten of the alopecia areata sufferers able to regrow 80 percent or more of their hair within one year.
At the end of the phase 3 trial, a total of 41.5 percent of those who received the strongest dose – 12 milligrams of the drug – saw a regrowth of 80 percent or more of their hair. Those receiving the lower dose, around 30 percent, also experienced the same amount of hair regrowth.
In the control group receiving a placebo, only 0.8 percent of those participants saw over 80 percent hair regrowth.
The word alopecia refers to partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows, it’s the medical term for baldness or a bald spot.
Some hair loss is normal. Humans lose somewhere between 50-100 hairs per day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). However, hair loss over this amount is excessive and is referred to by the medical term telogen effluvium.
There are different types of alopecia. The most common is alopecia areata, which causes one or more small, round patchy hair loss at first, most commonly occurring on the skull. However, it can affect hair loss in other areas over the entire body.
Alopecia areata is common, with 200,000 cases diagnosed per year. While some treatments can be helpful, there is no cure. Luckily, it is usually medium-term and resolves within months. However, it can be permanent for some people.