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Positive Data on Incyte's Jakafi

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Incyte Corporation (INCY - Free Report) recently announced positive long-term data from two ongoing studies on Jakafi. Incyte presented data from the studies at the 18th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in Stockholm.

Results from a three-year follow-up analysis of the phase III COMFORT-II study showed that the risk of death was reduced by 52% in myelofibrosis (MF) patients treated with Jakafi compared to those treated with the best available therapy. Moreover, reduction in spleen size was also observed in patients treated with Jakafi.

The results from the long-term study further showed that Jakafi was well-tolerated after three years of treatment. Incyte mentioned in its press release that rates of adverse events like anemia and thrombocytopenia decreased over the three-year period. Incyte further stated that the results conformed to the previously reported COMFORT-II and COMFORT-I study results.

Jakafi is the first and only approved treatment for patients suffering from intermediate or high-risk MF in the US. Jakafi (ex-US trade name: Jakavi) is marketed by Novartis (NVS - Free Report) outside the US.

Incyte also announced positive results from a phase I/II study (n=68) on Jakafi for the treatment of bone marrow fibrosis in patients suffering from MF. Bone marrow fibrosis is a key feature of MF.

Results from the study showed that bone marrow fibrosis stabilized/improved in most MF patients following long-term treatment with Jakafi. The bone marrow fibrosis stabilization was however not seen in best available therapy, including hydroxyurea.

We note that Incyte is looking to expand Jakafi’s label. It is also being studied for the treatment of polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, solid/other hematologic tumors and pancreatic cancer.

Though encouraged by the company’s lead product, Jakafi we believe its overdependence on the drug for growth may be a cause of concern.

Incyte, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other biopharma stocks such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ - Free Report) and Santarus, Inc. currently look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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