Following exciting results from their Phase 2A study, Pfizer will now be sponsoring Phase 3 trials for a “game-changing” hair loss cure. We look closer.
The presence of Pfizer in this story adds real credence to these results, with the promise that their deep pockets, allied with the absence of anything currently available on the market, could see the first true hair loss cure come to market. They are American based and the second largest independent biotech company in the world with turnover in excess of $2.5B.
Phase 2A Trials
A randomized placebo-controlled study evaluated two drugs for safety and efficacy in the treatment of two of the more distressing variants of alopecia, totalis and universalis. Totalis is an extreme form of alopecia that can see the sufferer lose all body hair from the scalp. Universalis goes a step beyond that and can see the sufferer lose all hair from the body, including eyebrows.
The drugs were so-called JAK inhibitors which work by interrupting a key messaging gateway that, left unchecked, can damage the hairs ability to grow and see follicles getting trapped in the rest phase.
One note of caution here should be that these study findings have bot yet been published or peer reviewed. Nevertheless the study team are bullish on their prospects and the yet-to-be-shared results have convinced Pfizer to invest significantly in the next phase of trials.
According to University of Melbourne professor, Rodney Sinclair, who presented the findings at a Dermatology and Venereology congress in Paris last week, the results are potentially life-changing for those living with alopecia. He said “Both compounds performed significantly beter than placebo in patients with alopecia totalis and alopecia unversalis. Both JAK inhibitors were safe and well tolerated.
HIS Hair Clinic
A final note of caution should be that when a man of medicine tells you something is safe and well tolerated it is worth drilling down. In fact, there were several patients on the study who suffered adverse reactions to some degree, and a couple of patients for whom the adverse reaction was considered serious… however, the problem ceased as soon as the medication was ceased.
We await publication of the results before getting too excited.. we are aware that the study team are only comparing the results to the placebo effect so there remains the possibility that the final medication, as with existing hair loss cures, will be something of a disappointment to the sufferer hoping for more.
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