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Incyte cream improves skin repigmentation in mid-stage study

Incyte Corp. said its ruxolitinib cream improved repigmentation in patients with a certain skin disease — meeting the main goal of a mid-stage study.

The Wilmington, Del.-based company is evaluating ruxolitinib as a potential treatment of adults with vitiligo, a long-term condition characterized by pale white patches on the skin due to the lack of a pigment known as melanin. The disease affects any area of the skin, but most commonly appears on the face, neck, hands and in skin creases.

There are no approved treatments for vitiligo in the U.S. and Europe.

Incyte reported in June that ruxolitinib, at 24 weeks of treatment, helped patients achieve up to more than 50% improvement in the skin on their face compared to those who received a non-mediated cream.

After 52 weeks, results showed that patients treated with ruxolitinib continued to show greater repigmentation in their body.

Incyte said 9.1% and 21.2% of the patients who received ruxolitinib twice a day demonstrated no signs of vitiligo or almost clear skin, respectively. The cream was generally well-tolerated with no treatment-related serious side effects reported, the company added.

Incyte presented the study's results at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology congress held in Madrid.

The ruxolitinib cream is also being evaluated in a late-stage study for patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis and initial results will be available in the first half of 2020.

A tablet form of ruxolitinib is sold under the Jakafi brand for treating adults with myelofibrosis, a type of chronic leukemia and bone marrow disorder and polycythemia vera — a rare blood cancer and bone marrow disorder. In May, Jakafi became the first treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for acute graft versus host disease, or aGVHD, in patients who do not respond to steroid therapy.