Novartis, Incyte will take Jakafi into 2nd trial for COVID-19 patients on ventilators

Novartis and Incyte announced their first Jakafi study in COVID-19 back in April. (Novartis)

Novartis and Incyte have already pitted their blockbuster JAK inhibitor Jakafi against COVID-19 as a possible treatment for a severe respiratory immune reaction. Now, seeing promise in another category of coronavirus-afflicted patients, the partners will take Jakafi into a second late-stage trial. 

The partners plan to test Jakafi in a second phase 3 trial for COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the drugmaker announced alongside first-quarter earnings Tuesday.

The U.S. trial will evaluate Jakafi's safety and efficacy over standard of care in ARDS patients who've needed ventilators.

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Incyte and partner Novartis announced in early April that they would roll Jakafi—also known as ruxolitinib—into a phase 3 study evaluating its ability to treat cytokine storm, an immune system overreaction that can cause severe respiratory complications. 

RELATED: Novartis, Incyte set to roll JAK inhibitor Jakafi into COVID-19 clinical trial

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