Ruxolitinib cream for the treatment of patients with alopecia areata: A 2-part, double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled phase 2 study

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 Feb;82(2):412-419. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.10.016. Epub 2019 Oct 14.


Background: There are currently no treatments for alopecia areata (AA) that are universally effective or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Oral ruxolitinib has shown efficacy in extensive AA. Ruxolitinib cream would potentially avoid systemic adverse effects.

Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of 1.5% ruxolitinib cream in patients with AA who had at least 25% hair loss by Severity of Alopecia Tool score.

Methods: This was a 2-part study. Part A was an open-label, 24-week study of 1.5% ruxolitinib cream in patients with 25% to 99% hair loss followed by a 24-week extension period. Part B was a double-blind, vehicle-controlled, 24-week study of 1.5% ruxolitinib cream in patients with 25% to 100% hair loss, followed by a crossover to ruxolitinib cream in the vehicle group for 24 weeks and additional treatment time for the ruxolitinib cream group.

Results: Although Part A results suggested potential efficacy of 1.5% ruxolitinib cream, there was no significant difference in hair regrowth based on 50% improvement in Severity of Alopecia Tool scores between patients receiving 1.5% ruxolitinib cream and vehicle in part B. There were no significant safety issues with 1.5% ruxolitinib cream.

Limitations: Single strength of ruxolitinib cream.

Conclusions: The 1.5% ruxolitinib cream did not have a significant effect in patients with AA.

Keywords: alopecia areata; clinical trial; ruxolitinib cream.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alopecia Areata / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitriles
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Pyrazoles / adverse effects
  • Pyrimidines
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Cream
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Nitriles
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • ruxolitinib