Lilly's oral JAK inhibitor Olumiant (component name: varicitinib) was approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety last month as a treatment for severe circular alopecia in adult patients aged 18 or older.
Olumiant, which has rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis as indications, was approved for the first time in Korea as a treatment for severe alopecia in adults.
Circular hair loss is a typical autoimmune disease and is distinguished from baldness. It is an autoimmune disease in which hair cannot grow and falls out due to abnormal immune responses in which the immune system mistakenly recognizes some of its hair as external substances. Prior to Olumiant's approval, there were no treatments approved for circular hair loss as an indication, and the previously recommended treatments have limited grounds for supporting the effectiveness and have high side effects.
According to a phase 3 clinical study of Olumiant, which was the basis for this approval, it showed superior scalp, eyebrows, and eyelash hair re-growth compared to placebo at week 36. In particular, the regenerative effect continued to improve when the 4mg treatment lasted up to 52 weeks, and no newly confirmed safety signs were observed.