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The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved an Eli Lilly drug that is the first-ever treatment for alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that triggers sudden hair loss.

The once-daily pill, known as Olumiant, was approved after clinical trials showed that treated patients regrew much of their lost hair. Patrik Jonsson, Lilly’s president of immunology, called the approval a historic moment for patients who until now have had to rely on cosmetic solutions, unapproved creams, and injections to manage the disease.

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