Incyte draws comic book artist—and blood cancer survivor—to tell patient stories through art

Incyte’s newest ambassador to help raise awareness for rare blood cancers is a well-known comic book artist—and a 10-year survivor. J.G. Jones, diagnosed with a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) more than a decade ago, is the engine behind Incyte’s “Rare Reflections” campaign.

Launched on Rare Disease Day last month, the effort will feature artwork Jones creates over the next several months with eight to ten MPN patients. Jones will interview them and creatively translate their stories into a custom illustration. So far, he has drawn David, an active cyclist who found out he had polycythemia vera (PV) after a bike accident sent him to the hospital with a broken leg that required surgery.

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“While Rare Reflections just launched, it’s a continuation in some ways to tell patients’ stories and give another platform to raise awareness of MPNs,” Jenifer Antonacci, Incyte senior director of U.S. public affairs, said.

Incyte began its “Voices of MPN” awareness effort and website in 2013 to share the stories of people with rare blood cancers. The pharma has also launched supporting campaigns, such as regional TV, radio and digital ads around PV to help patients understand their disease and track their symptoms.

When Jones finishes the series of patient illustrations, Incyte plans not only show them online, but it's also working on a way to potentially create a traveling gallery or tour where local communities could get involved, Antonacci said.

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Incyte markets Jakafi in the U.S., where it was approved to treat PV in 2014. It's also approved to treat the rare bone marrow cancer myelofibrosis and more recently picked up a first approval to treat acute graft-versus-host disease.