Arthritis drug leads to full head of hair


Researchers have discovered that an FDA-approved arthritis drug may hold the secret to curing hairlessness.

A new paper published by scientists at Yale University School of Medicine announced the first reported successful targeted treatment of alopecia universalis—a condition that causes loss of all hair on one's head and body. The subject of the study, a 25-year-old man grew back his eyebrows, eyelashes, and other hair after an eight-month course of Pfizer's tofacitinib citrate (brand name Xeljanz), according to Yale.

From left to right: Before the treatment, two months into treatment with tofacitinib, five months into treatment, eight months into treatment. Courtesy Yale Dermatology.

"The results are exactly what we hoped for," Brett King, an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and senior author of a paper reporting the results, said in a Yale release. "This is a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition...We believe the same results will be duplicated in other patients, and we plan to try."

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The researchers found no side effects, according to the release.

A Pfizer spokesman wrote in an email to CNBC that the pharmaceutical giant was aware of the study, but could not comment as it was conducted independent of the company.

—By CNBC staff