Alopecia is a skin disease characterised by loss of hair on the scalp, face and less frequently on other parts of the body. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, approximately 6.8 million people in the U.S. and about 147 million people globally are affected by the disease and approximately 2.1% people have a lifetime risk of developing the disease. There are many types of alopecia of which male-pattern baldness is the most commonly encountered type that affects around 50% of males by 50 years of age globally. Male-pattern baldness is a hereditary condition and generally runs in families. Alopecia areata is characterised by patches of baldness. Alopecia areata is caused due to an abnormality with the immune system; however, risk factors for alopecia areata include diabetes, hyperthyroidism or Down’s syndrome. Alopecia can also be caused due to the cancer treatment chemotherapy or immunotherapy and radiotherapy. Treatment of alopecia areata include steroid injections; however, creams, gels or ointments may also be used. Immunotherapy is also used in some cases.
Significant growth is expected in the therapeutics pipeline for alopecia in the future mainly attributed to the rising prevalence of diabetes, genetic cause of the disease which means the disease will run in families, new advances in the gene therapy and other treatment options for the disease, rising demand for male grooming products, and rising awareness among general population about the disease.
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Some of the major players involved in the development of drugs for alopecia include Pfizer Inc., Allargan plc, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Leo Pharma A/S, Millendo Therapeutics, Inc., Dong-A ST Co., Ltd., Polichem S.A., Berg LLC, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Follicum AB, Legacy Healthcare SA, Neosil, Inc., TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corp., Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc., Incyte Corporation, HairDx, LLC, Samumed LLC., Intrepid Therapeutics, Inc.
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