Incyte Targets Myelofibrosis

12/12/2013 7:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

John McCamant

Editor, Medical Technology Stock Letter

Positive clinical data is boosting the long-term case for this biotechnology firm, believes John McCamant, editor of The Medical Technology Stock Letter.

Abstracts for drug development candidate INCB039110 MF, from Incyte (INCY), have been released and the data continues to look promising.

This is the third positive data set for the drug candidate, with intriguing results already having been delivered in both, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and psoriasis.

The data shows a clear dose response curve, and that the 600mg daily dose is potentially the most effective in treating myelofibrosis (MF), while maintaining stable hemoglobin levels.

INCB039110 is the first JAK1 inhibitor that has demonstrated that it can be effective in MF patients without depleting hemoglobin levels, a risk factor associated with JAK1/2 inhibitors.

Meanwhile, at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer in November, various new preclinical and clinical approaches were presented for checkpoint inhibitors, including Incyte's IDO.

From what we understand, IDO is emerging as a major player, and multiple collaborative and combination trials are expected.

IDO is the second most prevalent gene in the checkpoint pathway—and it's well-known among researchers—and is increasingly known by the biopharmaceutical industry, and is just beginning to be realized by investors. IDO has yet to be factored into most Incyte models.

Lastly, Incyte restructured its balance sheet, replacing expensive debt due 2015, with conservable senior notes due 2018, and notes due 2020.

A majority of the debt is owned by Incyte's largest shareholder (Baker Bros.), which purchased a majority of the new debt as well.

Incyte continues to improve its capital structure, while its fundamental picture rolls steadily along.

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