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Mechanism of Action
Ruxolitinib, a kinase inhibitor, inhibits Janus Associated Kinases (JAKs) JAK1 and JAK2 which mediate the signaling of a number of cytokines and growth factors that are important for hematopoiesis and immune function. JAK signaling involves recruitment of STATs (signal transducers and activators of transcription) to cytokine receptors, activation and subsequent localization of STATs to the nucleus leading to modulation of gene expression.
Myelofibrosis (MF) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) known to be associated with dysregulated JAK1 and JAK2 signaling. In a mouse model of JAK2V617F-positive MPN, oral administration of ruxolitinib prevented splenomegaly, preferentially decreased JAK2V617F mutant cells in the spleen and decreased circulating inflammatory cytokines (eg, TNF-α, IL-6).
Ruxolitinib inhibits cytokine induced STAT3 phosphorylation in whole blood from healthy subjects and MF patients. Jakafi administration resulted in maximal inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation 2 hours after dosing which returned to near baseline by 10 hours in both healthy subjects and myelofibrosis patients.
In clinical studies, ruxolitinib is rapidly absorbed after oral Jakafi administration with maximal plasma concentration (Cmax) achieved within 1 to 2 hours post-dose. Based on a mass balance study in humans, oral absorption of ruxolitinib was estimated to be at least 95%. Mean ruxolitinib Cmax and total exposure (AUC) increased proportionally over a single dose range of 5 to 200 mg. There were no clinically relevant changes in the pharmacokinetics of ruxolitinib upon administration of Jakafi with a high-fat meal, with the mean Cmax moderately decreased (24%) and the mean AUC nearly unchanged (4% increase).
The apparent volume of distribution of ruxolitinib at steady-state is 53 to 65 L in myelofibrosis patients. Binding to plasma proteins in vitro is approximately 97%, mostly to albumin.
In vitro studies suggest that CYP3A4 is the major enzyme responsible for metabolism of ruxolitinib. Ruxolitinib is the predominant entity in humans representing approximately 60% of the drug-related material in circulation. Two major and active metabolites were identified in plasma of healthy subjects representing 25% and 11% of parent AUC. These two metabolites have one-fifth and one-half of ruxolitinib's pharmacological activity, respectively. The sum total of all active metabolites contributes 18% of the overall pharmacodynamics of ruxolitinib.
Following a single oral dose of [14C]-labeled ruxolitinib in healthy adult subjects, elimination was predominately through metabolism with 74% of radioactivity excreted in urine and 22% excretion via feces. Unchanged drug accounted for less than 1% of the excreted total radioactivity. The mean elimination half-life of ruxolitinib is approximately 3 hours and the mean half-life of ruxolitinib + metabolites is approximately 5.8 hours.
Effects of Age, Gender, or Race
In healthy subjects, no significant differences in ruxolitinib pharmacokinetics were observed with regard to gender and race. In a population pharmacokinetic evaluation in myelofibrosis patients, no relationship was apparent between oral clearance and patient age or race, and in women, clearance was 17.7 L/h and in men, 22.1 L/h with 39% inter-subject variability.
In vitro, ruxolitinib and its M18 metabolite are not inhibitors of CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6 or CYP3A4. Ruxolitinib is not an inducer of CYP1A2, CYP2B6 or CYP3A4 at clinically relevant concentrations.
In vitro, ruxolitinib and its M18 metabolite are not inhibitors of the P-gp, BCRP, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, OCT1, OCT2, OAT1 or OAT3 transport systems at clinically relevant concentrations. Ruxolitinib is not a substrate for the P-gp transporter.
Thorough QT Study
The effect of single dose ruxolitinib 25 mg and 200 mg on QTc interval was evaluated in a randomized, placebo-, and active-controlled (moxifloxacin 400 mg) four-period crossover thorough QT study in 47 healthy subjects. In a study with demonstrated ability to detect small effects, the upper bound of the one-sided 95% confidence interval for the largest placebo adjusted, baseline-corrected QTc based on Fridericia correction method (QTcF) was below 10 ms, the threshold for regulatory concern. The dose of 200 mg is adequate to represent the high exposure clinical scenario.
Two randomized Phase 3 studies (Studies 1 and 2) were conducted in patients with myelofibrosis (either primary myelofibrosis, post-polycythemia vera myelofibrosis or post-essential thrombocythemia-myelofibrosis). In both studies, patients had palpable splenomegaly at least 5 cm below the costal margin and risk category of intermediate 2 (2 prognostic factors) or high risk (3 or more prognostic factors) based on the International Working Group Consensus Criteria (IWG).
The starting dose of Jakafi was based on platelet count. Patients with a platelet count between 100 and 200 X 109/L were started on Jakafi 15 mg twice daily and patients with a platelet count greater than 200 X 109/L were started on Jakafi 20 mg twice daily. Doses were then individualized based upon tolerability and efficacy with maximum doses of 20 mg twice daily for patients with platelet counts between 100 to less than or equal to 125 X 109/L, of 10 mg twice daily for patients with platelet counts between 75 to less than or equal to 100 X 109/L, and of 5 mg twice daily for patients with platelet counts between 50 to less than or equal to 75 X 109/L.
Study 1 was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study in 309 patients who were refractory to or were not candidates for available therapy. The median age was 68 years (range 40 to 91 years) with 61% of patients older than 65 years and 54% were male. Fifty percent (50%) of patients had primary myelofibrosis, 31% had post-polycythemia vera myelofibrosis and 18% had post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis. Twenty-one percent (21%) of patients had red blood cell transfusions within 8 weeks of enrollment in the study. The median hemoglobin count was 10.5 g/dL and the median platelet count was 251 X 109/L. Patients had a median palpable spleen length of 16 cm below the costal margin, with 81% having a spleen length 10 cm or greater below the costal margin. Patients had a median spleen volume as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) of 2595 cm³ (range 478 cm³ to 8881 cm³). (The upper limit of normal is approximately 300 cm³).
Patients were dosed with Jakafi or matching placebo. The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving greater than or equal to a 35% reduction from baseline in spleen volume at Week 24 as measured by MRI or CT.
Secondary endpoints included duration of a 35% or greater reduction in spleen volume and proportion of patients with a 50% or greater reduction in Total Symptom Score from baseline to Week 24 as measured by the modified Myelofibrosis Symptom Assessment Form (MFSAF) v2.0 diary.
Study 2 was an open-label, randomized study in 219 patients. Patients were randomized 2:1 to Jakafi versus best available therapy. Best available therapy was selected by the investigator on a patient-by-patient basis. In the best available therapy arm, the medications received by more than 10% of patients were hydroxyurea (47%) and glucocorticoids (16%). The median age was 66 years (range 35 to 85 years) with 52% of patients older than 65 years and 57% were male. Fifty-three percent (53%) of patients had primary myelofibrosis, 31% had post-polycythemia vera myelofibrosis and 16% had post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis. Twenty-one percent (21%) of patients had red blood cell transfusions within 8 weeks of enrollment in the study. The median hemoglobin count was 10.4 g/dL and the median platelet count was 236 X 109/L. Patients had a median palpable spleen length of 15 cm below the costal margin, with 70% having a spleen length 10 cm or greater below the costal margin. Patients had a median spleen volume as measured by MRI or CT of 2381 cm³ (range 451 cm³ to 7765 cm³).
The primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving 35% or greater reduction from baseline in spleen volume at Week 48 as measured by MRI or CT.
A secondary endpoint in Study 2 was the proportion of patients achieving a 35% or greater reduction of spleen volume as measured by MRI or CT from baseline to Week 24.
Study 1 and 2 Efficacy Results
Efficacy analyses of the primary endpoint in Studies 1 and 2 are presented in Table 6 below. A significantly larger proportion of patients in the Jakafi group achieved a 35% or greater reduction in spleen volume from baseline in both studies compared to placebo in Study 1 and best available therapy in Study 2. A similar proportion of patients in the Jakafi group achieved a 50% or greater reduction in palpable spleen length.
Table 7: Percent of Patients with 35% or Greater
Reduction from Baseline in Spleen Volume at Week 24 in Study 1 and at Week 48
in Study 2 (Intent to Treat)
|Study 1||Study 2|
|Best Available Therapy
|Time Points||Week 24||Week 48|
|Number (%) of Patients with Spleen Volume Reduction by 35% or More||65 (41.9)||1 (0.7)||41 (28.5)||0|
|P-value||< 0.0001||< 0.0001|
Figure 1 shows the percent change from baseline in spleen volume for each patient at Week 24 (Jakafi N=139, placebo N=106) or the last evaluation prior to Week 24 for patients who did not complete 24 weeks of randomized treatment (Jakafi N=16, placebo N=47). One (1) patient (placebo) with a missing baseline spleen volume is not included.
Figure 1: Percent Change from Baseline in Spleen
Volume at Week 24 or Last Observation for Each Patient (Study 1)
In Study 1, myelofibrosis symptoms were a secondary endpoint and were measured using the modified Myelofibrosis Symptom Assessment Form (MFSAF) v2.0 diary. The modified MFSAF is a daily diary capturing the core symptoms of myelofibrosis (abdominal discomfort, pain under left ribs, night sweats, itching, bone/muscle pain and early satiety). Symptom scores ranged from 0 to 10 with 0 representing symptoms “absent” and 10 representing “worst imaginable” symptoms. These scores were added to create the daily total score, which has a maximum of 60.
Table 7 presents assessments of Total Symptom Score from baseline to Week 24 in Study 1 including the proportion of patients with at least a 50% reduction (ie, improvement in symptoms). At baseline, the mean Total Symptom Score was 18.0 in the Jakafi group and 16.5 in the placebo group. A higher proportion of patients in the Jakafi group had a 50% or greater reduction in Total Symptom Score than in the placebo group, with a median time to response of less than 4 weeks.
Table 8: Improvement in
Total Symptom Score
|Number (%) of Patients with 50% or Greater Reduction in Total Symptom Score by Week 24||68 (45.9)||8 (5.3)|
Figure 2 shows the percent change from baseline in Total Symptom Score for each patient at Week 24 (Jakafi N=129, placebo N=103) or the last evaluation on randomized therapy prior to Week 24 for patients who did not complete 24 weeks of randomized treatment (Jakafi N=16, placebo N=42). Results are excluded for 5 patients with a baseline Total Symptom Score of zero, 8 patients with missing baseline and 6 patients with insufficient post-baseline data.
Figure 2: Percent Change
from Baseline in Total Symptom Score at Week 24 or Last Observation for Each
Patient (Study 1)
Figure 3 displays the proportion of patients with at least a 50% improvement in each of the individual symptoms that comprise the Total Symptom Score indicating that all 6 of the symptoms contributed to the higher Total Symptom Score response rate in the group treated with Jakafi.
Figure 3: Proportion of
Patients With 50% or Greater Reduction in Individual Symptom Scores at Week 24
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/28/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Jakafi Information
- Jakafi Drug Interactions Center: ruxolitinib oral
- Jakafi Side Effects Center
- Jakafi FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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