Study shows Incyte’s Jakafi is effective in long-term treatment of rare type of blood cancer

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Along-running study of Incyte Corp.’s Jakafi on patients with a rare type of blood cancer showed long-term treatment with the drug is effective.

The trial covered patients with polycythemia vera (PV) who are resistant to or intolerant of hydroxyurea.

“With 30 months of additional follow-up, the four-year RESPONSE data analysis presented today at ASH (a medical conference) further reinforces the potential of Jakafi as a long-term option for patients with PV,” saidPeg Squier, M.D., Ph.D., head of U.S. Medical Affairs atIncyte. “Given the few treatment options available to treat this chronic and progressive blood cancer, these long-term safety and efficacy data are meaningful to patients with uncontrolled PV.”

“These are clinically relevant long-term safety and efficacy results, and further support the use of Jakafi in PV patients who have an inadequate response to or are intolerant of hydroxyurea,” said Srdan Verstovsek, medical oncologist and professor,Department of LeukemiaatThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,Houston.

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Polycythemia vera (PV) is typically characterized by elevated hematocrit, the percent volume of red blood cells in the blood, which can lead to a thickening of the blood and an increased risk of blood clots. An elevated white blood cell and/or platelet count may also be present.

Patients with PV who fail to consistently maintain appropriate hematocrit levels have a four times higher risk of major blood clots) or cardiovascular death. Signs and symptoms of PV commonly include fatigue, itching, night sweats, bone pain, fever, and unexplained weight loss.7

Approximately 100,000 patients in the U.S. are living with PV. Current standard treatment for PV is the removal of blood from the body plus aspirin. When phlebotomy can no longer control PV, chemotherapy is used in in high-risk patients. Approximately one in four patients with PV reach the point where the conventional treatment does not work.

Incyte is based near Wilmington. Jakafi is the company’s blockbuster drug.

A 30-day supply of Jakafi tablets costs around $6,000.

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