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New trials for pill to treat skin pigment condition



An Australian-first trial is underway for a pill which could help those living with pigment disease vitiligo.

More than half of the patients taking the daily tablet have reported "much improvement" in their skin after 12 months, including Senay Sumercan, who has lived with vitiligo since she was eight.

Vitiligo is a chronic autoimmune disorder which causes patches of skins to lose pigment or colour and can develop at any age.

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The 35-year-old said she has tried creams and other medications before to treat her condition, but nothing had really worked.

She said it was important to be part of the trial despite the outcome.

"Having lived with vitiligo all my life now, I have already passed the stage looking for a cure. It's more to advance studies and actively contribute the research really," Sumercan said.

"It's important to contribute to the wider research."

The trial is being run out of Sinclair Dermatology in Melbourne's east.

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Professor Rodney Sinclair said the trail participants need to take one tablet containing ritlecitinib each day.

"One tablet once a day and that's all you need to put a handbrake on vitiligo, stop you getting new patches," he said.

"The medication is highly effective in terms of you stopping getting new patches so that stops the progression."

Dermatologists are now recruiting patients for the phase three trial, more can be found here.

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