Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced the initiation of a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial for its oral JAK3 inhibitor, PF-06651600, for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe alopecia areata, a chronic autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss on the scalp, face, or body, and currently has no approved therapies. (1,2)
“We are proud to start this global pivotal Phase 2b/3 trial for PF-06651600 in patients with alopecia areata. We hope this potential treatment will be able to help patients who currently have limited treatment options,” said Michael Corbo, Chief Development Officer, Inflammation & Immunology, Pfizer Global Product Development. “Including our JAK3 program, Pfizer has several selective kinase programs in the clinic with studies spanning across rheumatology, gastrointestinal disorders, and medical dermatology, where we aspire to deliver potentially transformative medicines to those living with chronic autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.”
Positive Phase 2a data for PF-06651600 was recently presented as a late-breaker at the 27th European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology (EADV). The study met the primary efficacy endpoint in improving hair regrowth on the scalp relative to baseline at week 24 as measured by the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score (100 point scale). In addition to meeting the primary efficacy endpoint, the investigational candidate also met all secondary endpoints in the study. Overall, adverse event (AE) rates were comparable between treatment groups. The most common AEs seen in the study were in the infections, gastrointestinal and skin/subcutaneous tissue categories. There were no cases of herpes zoster reactivation.
Based on the totality of the data and the emerging clinical profile, PF-06651600 was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation from U.S. FDA for the treatment of alopecia areata in September 2018. PF-06651600 will also continue to be evaluated for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
About the PF-06651600 Phase 2b/3 Program
The pivotal trial will enroll an estimated 660 patients and will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of PF-06651600 in adults and adolescents (12 years and older) who have 50% or greater scalp hair loss. More on the study can be found on www.clinicaltrials.gov under the identifier NCT03732807.
About Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease, characterized by hair loss, often patchy, on the scalp, face, or body.(1,2) People suffering from alopecia areata experience symptoms when immune cells attack healthy hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out, often starting with smooth, round patches.(1,2) The mean age of onset is between 25 and 35, but it can also impact children and adolescents, and is seen in both sexes and all ethnicities.(1,2) More than half of patients with alopecia areata experience poor health-related quality of life and, as a result, the condition may lead to serious psychological consequences, including high levels of depression and anxiety.(1)
About PF-06651600 and Pfizer’s Kinase Inhibitor Leadership
The JAK pathways are believed to play an important role in inflammatory processes as they are involved in signaling for over 50 cytokines and growth factors, many of which drive immune-mediated conditions.(3) JAK inhibition may offer patients with these conditions a potential new advanced treatment option.(4)
PF-06651600 is an oral JAK3 inhibitor that is also under investigation for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.(4)
Pfizer has established a leading kinase research capability with multiple unique kinase inhibitor therapies in development. As a pioneer in JAK science, the Company is continuing to advance several investigational programs for molecules with novel selectivity profiles, which, if approved, could potentially deliver transformative therapies for patients. In addition to PF-06651600, Pfizer has a number of kinase inhibitors in clinical trials across multiple indications, including:
- PF-04965842: An investigational selective JAK1 inhibitor in Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of atopic dermatitis(AD)5; PF-04965842 received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe AD in February 2018
- PF-06700841: A tyrosine kinase 2(TYK2)/JAK1 inhibitor under investigation for the treatment of psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and alopecia areata
- PF-06650833: An interleukin-1 receptor associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) inhibitor under investigation for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
- PF-06826647: A TYK2 inhibitor under investigation for the treatment of psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)