JAK Agents Impress in Alopecia Areata

Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder….


Patients with moderate to severe alopecia areata had significant new hair growth with either of two drugs that work through the Janus kinase (JAK) pathway, a manufacturer-sponsored randomized trial showed.

After 6 months of treatment, the mean alopecia score improved by more than 50% among patients randomized to the JAK1/tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor PF-06700841. The mean score on the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) increased by almost 40% in the patients treated with the JAK3 inhibitor PF-06651600.

Patients randomized to placebo had no change in SALT score from baseline, and scores in the two active-treatment groups began to separate from the placebo group as early as 4 weeks after starting treatment, as reported here at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

“My personal view is that these results represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of alopecia areata,” said Rodney Sinclair, MD, of Sinclair Dermatology in Melbourne, Australia. “There is a line in the sand. On one side of the line there are clinical observations and case reports, and on the other side are investigational new drugs seemingly targeting the pathogenesis, tested in prospective, multicenter, double-blind placebo-controlled studies. Perhaps the first instance of evidence-based medicine has arrived in alopecia areata.”

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