For patients with alopecia areata, baricitinib offers long-term benefits, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 17 to 21 in New Orleans.
Maryanne Senna, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined the efficacy of baricitinib for alopecia areata in adults with ≥50 percent scalp hair loss through 104 weeks of continuous therapy in two phase 3 trials. Patients were randomly assigned to and continuously treated with 2 or 4 mg baricitinib through 104 weeks. The analyses included week 52 responders, who were 2- and 4-mg-treated patients with Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) scores ≤20 (≤20 percent scalp hair loss) at week 52 and baricitinib 4-mg-treated patients with a SALT score >20 at week 52 who had previously achieved a SALT score ≤20 or experienced eyebrow/eyelash regrowth at week 52.
The researchers found that 89.2 and 90.7 percent of baricitinib 2- and 4-mg-treated week 52 responders, respectively, maintained a SALT score ≤20 at week 104. For week 52 responders with baseline Clinician-Reported Outcomes (ClinRO) for Eyebrow and Eyelash Hair Loss scores ≥2, 67.6 and 83.8 percent, respectively, had ClinRO Eyebrow 0/1 (full coverage/minimal gaps), and 73.3 and 80.9 percent, respectively, had ClinRO Eyelash 0/1 at week 104. Overall, 39.1 percent of the baricitinib 4-mg-treated patients with a SALT score >20 at week 52 achieved a SALT score ≤20 by week 104.
"Efficacy increased in patients with SALT score >20 at week 52, illustrating that long-term treatment may be needed to observe maximum benefit in some patients," the authors write.
Several authors are employees of Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of baricitinib.