The Lexington company, Concert Pharmaceuticals, would be very close to securing a pill that could make hair recovery reaches almost half of the head, in a milestone that could help the millions of people in the world who live with alopecia.
According to the latest experimental challenges, the pharmaceutical company would be reaching 42 percent of hair recovery.
“Like many other autoimmune diseases, it’s one that hasn’t received much attention until relatively recently,” said Concert Pharma Chief Executive Roger Tung. While developing the therapy, he has met people who suffer from severe anxiety and depression spontaneously developing the condition. “This can really screw up people’s lives,” he said.
Concert tested its twice-daily pill, called CTP-543, in a study of about 700 people with moderate to severe alopecia areata. To be eligible for the study, volunteers had to have lost at least half of their head hair. The last group of volunteers had, on average, less than 16 percent of their hair left, and more than half of them were bald.
The goal of the study was to regrow hair covering at least 80 percent of their scalp. At the end of the 24-week study, the company met that goal for 29.6 percent of people who received a medium dose of the drug and 41.5 percent of people who received the high dose of the drug. Tung said it “is some of the best data” for the treatment of alopecia areata to date.
Lynne J. Goldberg, director of the hair clinic at Boston Medical Center and professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, said these numbers are pretty promising: “I don’t think 40 percent is the whole number. Some people will take longer to respond.”