Jan 25 (Reuters) - Sierra Oncology Inc said on
Tuesday its experimental drug for anemic patients with a type of
bone marrow cancer met the main goal of reducing disease
symptoms and also cut patients' dependence on blood
transfusions, in a late-stage trial.
The company acquired https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sierra-oncology-acquires-momelotinib-an-investigational-janus-kinase-jak-12-and-activin-receptor-type-1-acvr1-inhibitor-for-myelofibrosis-from-gilead-sciences-300700644.html
the drug, momelotinib, from Gilead Sciences Inc in
2018 for $198 million including milestone payments. It belongs
to a class of anti-inflammatory treatments called JAK
inhibitors, such as Incyte Corp's Jakafi.
Sierra said momelotinib is the first and only JAK inhibitor
to demonstrate positive data on reducing symptoms, anemia and
enlargement of a blood-filtering organ called spleen, all key
hallmarks of the condition called myelofibrosis.
Myelofibrosis disrupts the body's production of blood cells,
often causing severe anemia or a deficiency of red blood cells.
People with anemia rely on periodic blood transfusions to
improve their red blood cell count.
Current drugs only address symptoms and enlarged spleen, but
can suppress bone marrow activity and thereby worsen anemia, the
"Half of all myelofibrosis patients present with anemia at
diagnosis and virtually all become anemic over time," said Ruben
Mesa, co-principal investigator of the study.
Momelotinib was more effective in reducing patient
dependence on blood transfusions than the control group in the
study, which enrolled 195 patients previously treated with an
approved JAK inhibitor, Sierra said.
The company, which said that full data from the clinical
trial will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting, will
file for marketing approval of momelotinib in the United States
in the second quarter of this year.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay