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Neoplasia. 2010 Jan;12(1):28-38.

INCB16562, a JAK1/2 selective inhibitor, is efficacious against multiple myeloma cells and reverses the protective effects of cytokine and stromal cell support.

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Discovery Biology, Incyte Corporation, Wilmington, DE 19880, USA.


Cytokines in the bone marrow of multiple myeloma patients activate Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathways in tumor cells and promote tumor growth, survival, and drug resistance. INCB16562 was developed as a novel, selective, and orally bioavailable small-molecule inhibitor of JAK1 and JAK2 markedly selective over JAK3. The specific cellular activity of the inhibitor was demonstrated by its potent and dose-dependent inhibition of cytokine-dependent JAK/STAT signaling and cell proliferation in the absence of effects on Bcr-Abl-expressing cells. Treatment of myeloma cells with INCB16562 potently inhibited interleukin-6 (IL-6)-induced phosphorylation of STAT3. Moreover, the proliferation and survival of myeloma cells dependent on IL-6 for growth, as well as the IL-6-induced growth of primary bone marrow-derived plasma cells from a multiple myeloma patient, were inhibited by INCB16562. Induction of caspase activation and apoptosis was observed and attributed, at least in part, to the suppression of Mcl-1 expression. Importantly, INCB16562 abrogated the protective effects of recombinant cytokines or bone marrow stromal cells and sensitized myeloma cells to cell death by exposure to dexamethasone, melphalan, or bortezomib. Oral administration of INCB16562 antagonized the growth of myeloma xenografts in mice and enhanced the antitumor activity of relevant agents in combination studies. Taken together, these data suggest that INCB16562 is a potent JAK1/2 inhibitor and that mitigation of JAK/STAT signaling by targeting JAK1 and JAK2 will be beneficial in the treatment of myeloma patients, particularly in combination with other agents.

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