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Incyte Earns Milestone Payment on Japanese Approval of Jakavi

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Incyte Corporation (INCY - Free Report) received a $25 million milestone payment from partner, Novartis (NVS - Free Report) for the Japanese approval of Jakavi (U.S. trade name Jakafi) for the treatment of patients suffering from myelofibrosis (MF).

Incyte has a collaboration agreement with Novartis (NVS - Free Report) to market Jakafi outside the U.S. Jakafi was launched in the U.S. in Nov 2011, for treating patients suffering from intermediate or high-risk MF. The drug has also been approved by the European Commission to treat adults suffering from primary MF, post-polycythemia vera MF or post-essential thrombocythemia MF.

Novartis is working on gaining formal pricing and reimbursement approval for Jakavi in EU countries. Such approvals will trigger further milestone payments to Incyte.

Incyte is also looking to get Jakafi approved in additional indications. Last month, the company announced encouraging results from its phase III RESPONSE trial on Jakafi for the polycythemia vera (PV) indication. Incyte will file for Jakafi approval for the PV indication in the U.S. based on results from this trial very soon.

Jakafi contributed around $69.7 million to Incyte’s top line in the first quarter 2014, representing an increase of 44% from the year-ago quarter. We are encouraged by Incyte’s progress with Jakafi. Successful label expansion of the drug will boost sales.

Incyte, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some better-ranked stocks in the sector include Actelion Ltd. and Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SGYP - Free Report) . Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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