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Published on 27 November 2009

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Novartis to develop Incyte drugs

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Exclusive non-US rights to develop two pioneering Incyte JAK inhibitor oral treatments for a range of life-threatening blood disorders and cancers have been secured by Novartis.

The first, known as INCB18424, is in first-in-class Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of myelofibrosis, a neoplastic condition with no effective medical treatment, and other haematologic diseases.

The second is a mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor kinase (cMET) inhibitor known as INCB28060 that is now entering Phase I development. This compound can block molecular signals leading to tumour cell angiogenesis, proliferation, survival, invasion and metastasis.

Multiple cancers have been shown to be dependent on activation of molecular signals by genetic alterations of the cMET gene.
Inhibiting cMET may be useful in the treatment of gastric, kidney and other cancers, while also helping to overcome resistance to targeted therapies such as gefitinib in non-small-cell lung cancer.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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