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Myelofibrosis Drug Associated With Clinical Benefit

Researchers report on JAK1, JAK2 inhibitor INCB018424

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) and JAK2 inhibitor appears to be an effective targeted treatment for advanced myelofibrosis, according to research published in the Sept. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Srdan Verstovsek, M.D., of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues tested INCB018424, a JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor, in 153 patients with JAK2 V617F-positive or JAK2 V617F-negative primary myelofibrosis, post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis, or post-polycythemia vera myelofibrosis over a median duration in excess of 14.7 months.

The researchers established the most effective and safest dosage as 15 mg twice a day to start, followed by individualized dose titration. This dose resulted in a rapid objective response (a reduction of splenomegaly of 50 percent or more) in 17 of 33 patients (52 percent) lasting a year or more, with grade 3 or 4 adverse events seen in fewer than 10 percent of patients.

"In conclusion, this study shows clinical responses to a JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor, INCB018424, in patients with advanced myelofibrosis. The clinical benefits observed with this targeted therapy suggest the potential to address important unmet medical needs in patients with myelofibrosis. On the basis of the results of this study, two controlled, phase 3 randomized trials have been initiated," the authors write.

The research was funded by Incyte. Several authors disclosed financial ties to Incyte and/or other pharmaceutical companies.

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