Single-application treatment shows efficacy in head lice egg elimination
SAN FRANCISCO — Abametapir, a novel metalloproteinase inhibitor, was found to completely inhibit lice eggs from hatching after single a 10-minute application in a clinical trial, according to a poster presentation at the 2016 AAP National Conference and Exhibition.
“Current treatments for head lice may lack ovicidal activity, requiring two treatments 7 to 10 days apart to eliminate all hatched lice,” Vern Bowles, PhD, chief scientific officer and director of egg cell research at Hatchtech Pty Ltd., told Infectious Diseases in Children. “In addition, resistance to many of the neurotoxic-based products is increasing, rendering these products ineffective against the so-called ‘super lice’.
“Abametapir lotion, 0.74%, is a newly developed product with a novel mechanism of action that affects metalloproteinases critical for the development of eggs and survival of lice,” he said.
To determine abametapir’s ovicidal efficacy against head louse eggs, Bowles and colleagues conducted a double-blind, vehicle-controlled, single-dose study that included 50 children aged 3 to 17 years with an active head lice infestation (defined by three live head lice and 10 or more undamaged and unhatched head lice eggs) randomized to receive either abametapir, 0.74%, or vehicle treatment. Eggs were removed from the experimental group to serve as controls before applications.
Patients were randomized to receive treatment to dry hair for 10 minutes with abametapir lotion, 0.74% in the experimental group or vehicle treatment in the control group. All patients then rinsed their hair with warm water without nit combing. The researchers incubated unhatched eggs for 14 days at 30 degrees Celsius and compared hatched eggs from pre-treatment with hatched eggs post-treatment. In patients treated with abametapir lotion, 100% of the eggs remained unhatched and the hatch reduction rate was 92.9% (95% CI, 86.5-99.4) compared with the control group, where 64% of vehicle-treated eggs were unhatched and the hatch reduction rate was 42.3% (95% CI, 30.2-54.4).
In addition, 22 children in the abametapir group were lice-free at both Day 1 and Day 7 follow-up visits compared with 8 children in the control group.
“In clinical trials, abametapir lotion, 0.74%, was effective in eliminating head lice infestations with a single, 10-minute application without nit combing,” Bowles said. “This product was well-tolerated in both adult and pediatric subjects 6 months of age and older.”– by Kate Sherrer
Hazan L, et al. Abstract #319923. Presented at: AAP National Conference and Exhibition; Oct. 22-25, 2016; San Francisco, California.
Disclosure: Bowles is an employee of Hatchtech Pty Ltd.