Highlights from

AAD 2019

American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting

Washington D.C. 1-5 March 2019

JAK1/2 inhibitor effective in alopecia areata

The Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor CTP-543 showed promising results in patients with moderate-to-severe alopecia areata (AA) according to interim results from a phase 2a study [1].

CTP-543 inhibits both JAK1 and JAK and is a modified version of the JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib, currently approved for the treatment of myelofibrosis and polycythaemia. In total, 104 adults with AA having at least a ≥50% hair loss were randomised to receive 4 or 8 mg CTP-543 twice daily or placebo for 24 weeks. Primary efficacy endpoint was a 50% relative reduction in Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score from baseline to 24 weeks. Significantly more patients in the 8 mg group reached this endpoint compared with placebo (47.0% vs 8.6%; P<0.001). “Curves split after 16 weeks with the 8 mg dose, but we still see a steep increase of response until week 24,” explained James Cassella (Concert Pharmaceuticals, USA). An analysis according to subtype of AA showed a similar overall scalp regrowth response rate between patchy AA and alopecia universalis and alopecia totalis.

The JAK inhibitor was generally well tolerated with headache, cough, upper respiratory tract infections, acne, and nausea being the most common adverse events. No serious adverse events were reported. Due to these positive interim results, the company will begin an open-label trial to test whether the JAK inhibitor in a dose of 16 mg once daily is as effective as the 8 mg twice-daily dose.

keywords: alopecia areata; Janus kinase inhibitor; JAK; CTP-543

  1. Cassella J. Abstract 11291, AAD Annual Meeting, 1-5 March 2019, Washington DC, USA.

The content and interpretation of these conference highlights are the views and comments of the speakers/authors.