June 13, 2013
By Robert Rosen
The American Society of Clinical Oncologist just wrapped up its annual meeting in Chicago last week. The meeting brought together over 25,000 oncology professionals from all disciplines. Added to the fertile mix were drug companies, advocacy folks and journalists striving to understand what’s new in cancer research and treatment.
The MPN Research Foundation met with about 9 different pharmaceutical companies working on drugs in our space. The most significant major news relating to us is the announcement by Incyte that Jakafi is showing a clear positive impact on fibrosis in many MF patients. Bone marrow biopsies from patients who have been on this drug for up to 48 months have in many cases shown a reversal of progression, and in other cases a stabilization of fibrosis.
Our field remains crowded with pharmaceutical firms vying to provide improved versions of JAK inhibitors. Other more novel mechanisms of action are either in early stage clinical trials or headed towards trials later this year. Sanofi hopes to apply for FDA approval later this year for its JAK 2 inhibiting drug, and Promedior hopes to start trials this year for a novel drug that has shown efficacy in halting and perhaps reversing the fibrosis process in Pulmonary fibrosis. There is reason to believe, but it has not been proven, that it will be effective in bone marrow fibrosis.
The next conference where major new MPN news might be announced will be at ASH, in December 2013.