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

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.

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. 

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