The status and outcomes of registered clinical trials for JAK inhibitors in alopecia areata: are non-published trials being overlooked?

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Recent meta-analyses of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors in alopecia areata (AA) have excluded trial registries and may thus be subject to publication bias. This study assessed the potential for evidence selection bias and provides an overview of JAK inhibitor trials in AA. A broad search strategy of was performed AA. We also recorded whether results were published on PubMed. There were 26 trials identified, of which 9 were ongoing (mostly oral JAK inhibitors (8/9, 89%)). Of completed/terminated trials, 4/17 (24%) had terminated prematurely, citing "inefficacy/futility" or "sponsor decision". These were all topical JAK inhibitor trials (4/8, 50% termination rate), with a 0% termination rate (0/9) for oral JAK inhibitor trials. Topical JAK inhibitors may be less efficacious than has been apparent in the literature to date, with 50% of trials having terminated due to inefficacy/futility or sponsor decision and only one topical JAK inhibitor trial ongoing.

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Authors: L Steele, H L Lee, T Maruthappu, E A O'Toole


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