The FDA has announced that it has approved Lilly’s Olumiant (baricitinib) oral tablets to treat adults with severe alopecia areata, a form of baldness resulting from the body attacking its hair follicles.
Manifesting as patchy baldness, alopecia areata affects more than 300,000 people in the U.S.
The incidence of alopecia areata is growing.
“Access to safe and effective treatment options is crucial for the significant number of Americans affected by severe alopecia,” said Dr. Kendall Marcus, director of the division of dermatology and dentistry in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a news release. “Today’s approval will help fulfill a significant unmet need for patients with severe alopecia areata.”
FDA first approved Olumiant in 2018 for rheumatoid arthritis. In 2022, the drug won an indication for COVID-19 in some hospitalized COVID-19 patients.