Ropeginterferon alpha-2b targets JAK2V617F-positive polycythemia vera cells in vitro and in vivo

A new study of the drug being developed by Pharmaessentia - ropeginterferon - shows that the JAK2 allele burden is reduced compared to patients on hydroxyurea. The article states "After 1 year of treatment with ropeginterferon, the ratio of JAK2-mutated to wild-type colonies grown from bone marrow progenitors was reduced by 64%, compared to 25% in patients receiving hydroxyurea. This study shows that ropeginterferon has a potent targeted activity against JAK2-mutant cells and is able to drastically reduce the proportion of malignant progenitors in patients treated with this drug."

However, we don't know what the significance of this reduction means for the patient or why interferons (of which there are several, including Pegasys, which is used off-label by MPN patients) work for some patients and not others. Ropeginteferon is the first of the interferon drugs that is being developed specifically for myeloproliferative neoplasms. 

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