ALOPECIA UK ENCOURAGED BY EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS IN ALOPECIA AREATA TREATMENT BUT WARN SOME CAUTION IS NEEDED
Columbia University Medical Centre researchers have announced positive results for a patient with Alopecia Areata, in trials of the bone marrow drug Ruxolitinib. The trial, which prompted full, long-lasting regrowth, indicates positive steps for hair loss research, but industry charity Alopecia UK is warning caution is needed. Ruxolitinib is an approved drug in the US and Europe for treatment of Myelofibrosis but was linked to the regrowth of hair after dedicated scientific testing. Trials on mice, of two FDA-approved drugs known as JAK inhibitors, (Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib) completely reversed hair loss, and the effects proved long lasting – resulting in a new trial of Ruxolitinib on human patients. Results published in the online edition of Nature Medicine Journal by the team from Columbia show that three men with Alopecia Areata had complete hair regrowth between four and five months of taking Ruxolitinib twice a day.
Professor Andrew Messenger, Expert Advisor to Alopecia UK said "We are encouraged by the results of the recent medical trials from Columbia University, both the Ruxolitinib trial published yesterday and the trial of another JAK inhibitor, Tofacitinib, published in June 2014. Both are very promising but it is still early days. The assertion that there may finally be a treatment for Alopecia Areata is exciting but some caution is needed; the drugs require further testing, the long-term side effects are unknown and the potential per person cost could be untenable. Although the hair has grown back in this case it needs to be monitored to see if these effects are long lasting and to ensure that there aren’t any dangerous side effects, as regulatory authorities are unlikely to approve hair loss treatments that have significant physical side effects.”
Amy Johnson, Communications Manager, Alopecia UK says “We agree with the study leader, Dr Raphael Clynes that Alopecia Areata is an under-researched condition so the studies from Columbia University really are valued by the Alopecia community. Alopecia Areata can have a huge impact on those who have the condition. It may not be life threatening but it is life changing. Many people in the UK (and around the world) struggle to live with the symptoms of their Alopecia. Any steps toward researching treatments of the condition are encouraging and these results are certainly a step in the right direction.” -END-
Notes to editors: Alopecia UK is a small registered charity supporting people with all types of Alopecia in the UK, offering information, advice and support groups and raising awareness to the general public and healthcare professionals about Alopecia and its psychological impact. http://www.alopecia.org.uk/