Researchers at Yale University have discovered that Pfizer’s (PFE) FDA-approved arthritis drug “Tofacitinib citrate” may hold the secret to curing hairlessness.
A new paper published by scientists at the University’s school of medicine report that a 25-year-old man with almost no hair on his body has grown a full head of it after receiving an eight-month course of Tofacitinib to treat “Alopecia Universalis”, a condition that causes loss of all hair on one’s head and body.
“The results are exactly what we hoped for,” said Dr. Brett A. King, an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and senior author of a paper reporting the results.“This is a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition. While it’s one case, we anticipated the successful treatment of this man based on our current understanding of the disease and the drug. We believe the same results will be duplicated in other patients, and we plan to try.”
This is the first reported case of a successful targeted treatment for the rare, highly visible disease.
“There are no good options for long-term treatment of alopecia universalis,” King said. “The best available science suggested this might work, and it has.”
Pfizer’s drug treats alopecia by turning off the immune system’s attack on hair follicles that is prompted by the disease. The researchers have now submitted a proposal for a clinical trial of a cream form of Tofacitinib for treatment of alopecia.
Shares of Pfeizer rose less than 1% on Friday to close at $29.78.