Experimental pill prompts some to regrow a nearly full head of hair

The drug is not expected to work for those with more common forms of age-related hair loss.

A volunteer with severe hair loss from alopecia areata grew a nearly full head of hair over 24 weeks in Concert's earlier Phase 2 clinical trial.

Concert Pharmaceuticals said Monday that its experimental treatment for a severe form of hair loss called alopecia areata could restore a nearly full head of hair in about 30 to 40 percent of people.

The small Lexington company is one of a few firms with drugs in the advanced stages of clinical testing for the disease in which a person’s immune system attacks their hair follicles, resulting in patchy or total hair loss. Although alopecia areata can sometimes clear up on its own in months, the condition often lasts for years. There are no treatments approved for the disease.

“Like many other autoimmune diseases, it is one that has not received a ton of attention until relatively recently,” said Concert Pharma chief executive Roger Tung. While developing the therapy, he has met people who suffer severe anxiety and depression from spontaneously developing the condition. “This can really screw up people’s lives,” he said.


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