Incyte Corp. (INCY) rose the most in more than five years after the company said its leukemia drug helped a subgroup of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in a mid-phase clinical trial.
Incyte jumped 32 percent to $35.75 at 1:09 p.m. New York time, for its biggest intraday increase since January 2008. Forty-two percent of patients who were identified as most likely to benefit from the medicine, Jakafi, survived six months compared with 11 percent on placebo, Wilmington, Delaware-based Incyte said today in a statement.
The trial results are the first indication the class of drugs known as a Jak inhibitor has an effect on solid tumors. The data “opens the door” for Incyte to broaden use of Jakafi, which may boost the drug’s revenue to $950 million in 2017, according to Brian Abrahams, a senior analyst in New York with Wells Fargo & Co.
“Based on what we know so far from these results, we feel more confident Jakafi could have a meaningfully larger long-term opportunity,” Abrahams said today in a note to clients.
Incyte had $297 million in revenue last year, including $136 million attributable to Jakafi, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., according to the company.
Patients in the trial were given Jakafi in combination with Roche Holding AG (ROG)’s Xeloda, which was approved in 1998 and treats colorectal and breast cancers, or Xeloda alone. The Food and Drug Administration cleared Jakafi for sale in 2011 for a type of leukemia called myelofibrosis.
“These results solidify our belief in the therapeutic opportunity that exists for Jakafi, and provide us with an acceleration strategy to advance our JAK1 inhibitor portfolio into additional areas of unmet medical need,” Incyte President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Friedman said in the statement.
Among patients who took Jakafi in the trial, 12 percent discontinued the therapy for an adverse event. Sixteen percent of Jakafi patients experienced serious anemia.
Incyte plans to release full trial results at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s meeting next year, Pamela Murphy, a spokeswoman, told Bloomberg First Word.
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