22 December 2011 Business
Industry news, January 2012
The Jakavi brand, developed by US drug maker Incyte, was approved in the US in November 2011. Ruxolitinib is the first drug to be approved specifically for the treatment of myelofibrosis, which affects fewer than 200,000 people in the US. In patients with the disease, bone marrow is replaced by scar tissue, shifting red blood production to the liver and spleen. The disease is marked by an enlarged spleen, anaemia and decreased levels of white blood cells and platelets. Ruxolitinib inhibits the enzymes Jak (janus associated kinase) 1 and 2, which are involved in regulating blood and immunological function.
Incyte licensed the brand to Novartis in 2009 in a deal worth up to $1.3 billion (£820 million).
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