While large-cap pharmas Johnson & Johnson
INCB18424 -- henceforth called "the drug," heh, heh -- is a JAK protein inhibitor being tested in a wide range of autoimmune and other diseases where JAK is thought to act. The results presented Thursday were from a trial testing the drug in rheumatoid arthritis patients. In the small trial -- results from only 16 patients, four of whom received placebo, were reported -- the drug seemed to diminish symptoms quickly and effectively. For instance, after four weeks of treatment, half the treated patients experienced a 50% improvement in their symptoms based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. Incyte is still evaluating the drug at higher and lower concentrations as part of the phase 2 trial, but these early results do look promising.
The great thing about the rheumatoid arthritis drugs being developed by Incyte and others is that they can be taken orally. That's stating the obvious, but treatments like Abbott Labs'
That being said, Incyte might be a tad overpriced at this point. There's still a lot of risk involved because the drug's long-term safety profile still isn't known. Incyte doesn't have any drugs in phase 3 trials, so I'm not sure it deserves a market cap that's more than 20% larger than Exelixis