When it comes to the subject of JAK inhibitors and androgenic alopecia, commentator “nasa_rs” is always ahead of the curve and keeps adding tremendous value to this blog for which I am grateful. My taking time off my regular daytime work and writing this post is due to his comments from earlier today to my last blog post.
Just a few hours ago, it was announced that Aclaris Therpeutics had raised around $20 million from a private stock sale. Main item of interest:
Net proceeds from this offering are expected to be used to fund research and development, including new JAK inhibitor programs for androgenetic alopecia (also known as male or female pattern baldness) and vitiligo, as well as ongoing business development.
— One more article on this development.
If you have not done so already, you should do a search on “JAK inhibitors” in this blog and read all the past posts on the subject. The two biggest news stories of the year in 2014 both entailed different JAK inhibitors curing alopecia areata (which is a type of patchy scalp hair loss that affects <5 percent of people). Ever since then, we have had some conflicting opinions from experts on whether JAK inhibitors will also cure androgenic alopecia, by far the most common (>95 percent) form of baldness. The two leading researchers in this field, Dr. Brett King and Dr. Angela Christiano, have both been somewhat optimistic about this potential. Moreover, my recent post from March provides further reason for optimism. It says a lot about my obsessiveness or whatever you want to call it that I got so much joy in bolding the text “androgenic alopecia” in that March post, and now again in this post.
In any event, I am still 50/50 about the potential for JAK inhibitors to cure androgenic alopecia. However, raising $20 million in one go is no joke in the hair loss industry, especially since there is no evidence provided by Aclaris as yet that JAK inhibitors can really cure male pattern hair loss (I am even unsure if they can consistently cure/reverse vitiligo).
Several years ago, when Histogen raised $10 million (for a technology that they had already proven with many years of research behind it), it was touted to be a big deal.
This is a much bigger deal.
Further reading: Mr. Neal Walker, CEO of Aclaris Therapeutics.