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GEN News Highlights : Nov 2, 2010

Novartis Pays Incyte $50M on Start of Phase III Trial with INCB18424 for Polycythemia Vera

JAK1/2 inhibitor is in joint Phase II/III development against multiple disorders.

Incyte earned a $50 million milestone from partner Novartis on the start of a global Phase III trial program for the JAK1/2 inhibitor INCB18424 against polycythemia vera. The Response study is expected to enroll about 300 polycythemia vera patients who are resistant or intolerant to hydroxyurea therapy. Incyte will carry out the trial in the U.S., and Novartis will undertake the ex-U.S. arms of the study. INCB18424 is being developed in collaboration with Novartis for a number of indications. Under terms of the firms' deal Novartis has rights to develop the drug worldwide except the U.S., which Incyte has retained. INCB18424 is currently undergoing Phase III trials against myelofibrosis, and is poised to start in Phase III trials against essential thrombocythemia. Phase II trials evaluating INCB18424 in solid and hematologic cancers are also ongoing. Incyte has retained rights to a topical formulation of the drug for the treatment of psoriasis. Phase II trials in this indication are also under way.

Just last month Incyte received a $19 million milestone payment from Eli Lilly, relating to the start of a Phase IIb trial evaluating another JAK1/2 inhibitor, INCB28050, in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Incyte has granted Lilly worldwide rights to INCB28050.