Incyte Progresses with JAK Inhibitors

Zacks

Incyte Corporation's (INCY) sole marketed product Jakafi (known as Jakavi in Europe), an oral janus-associated kinas (:JAK) antagonist, is approved for the treatment of myelofibrosis (MFGLQ). The company is also developing several other JAK antagonist candidates.

Last week, Incyte announced encouraging results from a phase II proof-of-concept study (n=50) on another JAK1 inhibitor INCB39110 in patients suffering from chronic plaque psoriasis. The study evaluated four dosage strengths of the candidate − 100 mg once daily, 200 mg once daily, 200 mg twice daily and 600 mg once daily.

The main objective of the study was to determine the mean percent change from baseline in static physician global assessment (sPGA) score at day 28. The study also determined the percentage of patients who achieved sPGA 0 or 1 (clear or minimal) and the percentage of patients who achieved PASI 50.

Results from the study revealed evidence of efficacy (as per the sPGA criteria) at all doses of the candidate in comparison to placebo. The study further revealed that INCB39110 was generally well tolerated.

We are encouraged by the positive results on INCB39110. However we expect investor focus to stay on Incyte’s lead product, Jakafi. Incyte is looking to expand Jakafi’s label further. In Aug 2013, Incyte announced positive top-line results from the company’s phase II RECAP trial (n=136) on Jakafi in combination with Roche’s (RHHBY) Xeloda.

The RECAP study evaluated Jakafi in combination with Xeloda in patients suffering from recurrent or treatment refractory metastatic pancreatic cancer. Results from the study revealed that overall survival in patients under the Jakafi arm was higher than the placebo arm.

Incyte, a biopharma company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ) appear to be more attractive in the biopharma space with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) respectively.

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