Incyte Shares Jump, After Positive Phase II Results for Jakafi

Shares in Incyte increased by almost 34% yesterday after the company announced promising mid-stage data for their pancreatic cancer therapy, Jakafi.

Positive results from a Phase II clinical trial showed that the JAK inhibitor, Jakafi (ruxolitinib), when used in combination with Roche’s Xeloda (capecitabine), improved survival in some patients with recurrent or treatment refractory advanced pancreatic cancer.

A pre-specified subgroup analysis in patients identified beforehand as most likely to benefit from JAK pathway inhibition demonstrated that six-month survival in those given Jakafi was 42%, as opposed to 11% for placebo.

In addition, durable tumour responses were only detected in patients taking Jakafi, and the drug also achieved a substantial improvement in body weight in comparison to placebo, Incyte noted.

Jakafi was generally well tolerated, with only 12% of patients who received Jakafi dropping out of the clinical trial due to an adverse event, in comparison with 20% who took just Xeloda.

Results from the trial “provide the first evidence that JAK inhibition is active in this disease and suggest a demonstrable survival benefit in a well-defined group of patients with refractory metastatic pancreatic cancer who can be identified without the development of a companion diagnostic test,” commented Paul Friedman, Incyte’s President and Chief Executive.

Jakafi has already been approved for the treatment of blood cancer, myelofibrosis, resulting in sales of roughly $136 million annually.

Novartis also currently markets the drug outside of the US under the brand name Jakavi.


News, Industry News