Incyte scores top dollar deal with Novartis for JAK inhibitor

Source EP Vantage
Company IncyteNovartisPfizer 
Date November 25, 2009

As only the second JAK inhibitor to enter phase III trials, Incyte’s INCB18424 has already attracted a fair amount of attention. This attention turned into hard cash today with a chunky licensing deal struck with Novartis, which has bought ex-US rights to the compound and another earlier stage product for $210m upfront, with future milestones potentially worth another $1.1bn.

Interestingly, this deal has been forged only a couple of weeks ahead of the release of a tranche of phase II data on the drug, due to be presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. Abstracts already released suggest that the studies are going to point to much bigger potential for ‘424 beyond its lead indication myelofibrosis, which is already viewed as a blockbuster opportunity. Still, the less than effusive reaction seen on the stock market to today’s news, with Incyte shares up 7% in early trade, suggests that many have already bought into the optimism around this product.

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