Emerging drugs for the treatment of myelofibrosis: phase II & III clinical trials

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Introduction: Myelofibrosis is a clonal hematologic malignancy with clinical manifestations that include cytopenias, debilitating constitutional symptoms, splenomegaly, bone marrow fibrosis and a propensity toward leukemic progression. While allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be curative, this therapy is not available for the majority of patients. Ruxolitinib and fedratinib are approved JAK2 inhibitors that have produced meaningful benefits in terms of spleen reduction and symptom improvement, but there remain several unmet needs. Areas covered: We discuss novel therapies based upon published data from phase II or III clinical trials. Specifically, we cover novel JAK inhibitors (momelotinib and pacritinib), and agents that target bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (pelabresib), the antiapoptotic proteins BCL-2/BCL-xL (navitoclax), MDM2 (navtemadlin), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (parsaclisib), or telomerase (imetelstat). Expert opinion: Patients with disease related cytopenias are ineligible for currently approved JAK2 inhibitors. However, momelotinib and pacritinib may be able to fill this void. Novel therapies are being evaluated in the upfront setting to improve the depth and duration of responses with ruxolitinib. Future evaluation of agents must be judged on their potential to modify disease progression, which current JAK2 inhibitors lack. Combination therapy, possibly with an immunotherapeutic agent might serve as key components of future myelofibrosis treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-362
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Myelofibrosis
  • imetelstat
  • luspatercept
  • momelotinib
  • navitoclax
  • navtemadlin
  • pacritinib
  • parsaclisib
  • pelabresib


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