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Incyte starts clinical trial to treat rare blood cancer

Delaware Public Media

Incyte announced Wednesday it has started a clinical trial to treat people with a rare blood cancer, using a drug they bought the rights to develop in 2016. 



Incyte expects to treat 120 people in the clinical trial and has already treated one patient.


The rare blood cancer, called Essential thrombocythemia (ET), causes a person to have higher counts of white blood cells and more platelets in their body.


Incyte says the medicine, called “Jakafi”, a brand name for ruxolitinib, can work in place of another drug called anagrelide to treat ET.


In a press release, Incyte’s Chief Medical Officer Steven Stein said the company is excited about using ruxolitinib to treat ET.


"We look forward to building on the clinical evidence for ruxolitinib and to advancing this trial to help address the needs of higher-risk patients with ET, who are resistant to or intolerant of HU and currently have limited treatment options."


The company says some patients become resistant or intolerant to a medicine that often accompanies anagrelide, called hydroxyurea. As a result — they have limited options for treatment.


Patients involved in the trial must be at least 18 years old. They also need to be resistant to hydroxyurea. 


Incyte says Jakafi can cause side effects like lower blood counts, infections and even non-melanoma skin cancer.

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