MPN research pays off as new MPN drugs advance to market: a report from ASCO

June 2011

June's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago demonstrated that investments in MPN Research are starting to pay off as multiple drugs move through the drug development pipeline. Walking the halls of McCormick one could not help but be struck by strong notes of excitement and optimism. Discoveries related to melanoma, breast cancer and long cancer were broadly discussed. And major progress towards the treatment of MPN's was included in this excitement.

With the announcement on Monday of impressive results in the testing of Ruxolitinib, a JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor from Incyte Corporation, MPN patients can for the first time anticipate an FDA approved treatment for myelofibrosis. The Incyte compound has proved to dramatically improve constitutional symptoms for most MF patients. More testing is required to determine additional benefits over a longer term.

The news keeps coming. Small biotech's and large pharmaceutical companies alike have MPN drugs in clinical development or in clinical trials. The players include Eli Lilly, Celgene, SBio, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis, YM Biosciences, Geron, Roche, and others.

These astonishing developments demonstrate the payoffs that can result from investments in MPN research. The MPN community has seen these rapid results only 6 years after the discovery of the JAK2V617F bio marker, testifying to the initiative taken by MPN patients to understand and affect the course of their own disease.

The MPN Research Foundation is proud to have funded much of the pre-clinical testing for the JAK inhibitors and we are determined to continue to fund new innovative research that will provide new treatments, and ultimately a cure. The news at ASCO is a proud moment for us and positive for all MPN patients.

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