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Baricitinib Treatment Leads to Hair Regrowth in Alopecia Areata

With no approved therapies currently available, Dr. Brett King feels that the JAK inhibitor baricitinib could provide patients with a long sought after solution to hair loss.

New data presented at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 2022 Annual Meeting in Boston found the oral baricitinib induced hair regrowth in patients with alopecia areata.

Currently, there are no approved therapies for the autoimmune disorder, but data from the 2 phase 3 trials BRAVE-AA1 and BRAVE-AA2 might provide a path forward in treating patients with alopecia areata.

In an interview with HCPLive, Brett King, MD, PhD, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, spoke of the promising data from both BRAVE trials.

A total number of 654 patients with alopecia areata were featured from both trials. Following a once-daily oral baricitinib dose of 4 mg, 2 mg, or placebo for 36 weeks, King and colleagues evaluated the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) scores of each patient.

“What we see is that over 36 weeks of treatment about a third of patients get to this very low amount of scalp hair loss,” King said. “We see similar results of eyebrows and eyelash regrowth, and so it’s just a really provocative result for one of the first drugs out of the gate in this disease.”

An estimated 38.8% of patients treated with baricitinib 4 mg achieved SALT scores of 20 or less by week 36, and similar results were observed for 22.8% of patients treated with baracitinib 2 mg compared with 6.2% on placebo in BRAVE-AA1.

For BRAVE-AA2, the team estimated that the percentages were 35.9% with 4 mg baracitinib, 19.4% with 2 mg baracitinib, and 3.3% with placebo.

Though acne, increased levels of creatine kinase, and increased levels of low- and high-densitylipoprotein cholesterol were observed more with patients treated with baricitinib than with placebo, the data from these phase 3 trials showed potential for an approved therapeutic option for alopecia areata.

“This is this is all new territory, but JAK inhibitors are showing efficacy,” King said. “Now having 2 phase 3 clinical trials done with baricitinib, we're really advancing towards the goal of FDA approved therapies in a disease that has no FDA approved therapies, and so it's epic, it's historic, it's super exciting.”