The Food and Drug Administration approved Olumiant, a drug that restores hair growth and can act as a treatment for alopecia Monday.
Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles, resulting in hair loss on the scalp and, in some cases, the rest of the body.
This is the first systemic treatment for the disorder, which affects hundreds of thousands of people every year, said Dr. Adam Friedman, professor and chair of dermatology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
“This is extraordinary,” Friedman said. “Up until now, we’ve been using many different medications, all of which are not approved and being used off-label to manage this condition. But, we had nothing else.”