Approximately 50% of patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET) or myelofibrosis (MF) lack activating mutations in JAK2. Among these patients, ~10% harbor an activating mutation in the thrombopoietin receptor, MPLW515L. We have reported that expression of MPLW515L in a murine bone marrow transplant model recapitulates many features of ET and MF, including severe fibrosis and thrombocytosis, that are not observed in the JAK2V617F model. These observations provide an opportunity to assess the efficacy of small molecule JAK2 inhibitors on a myeloproliferative disease (MPD) induced by MPLW515L in vivo, and to determine whether such inhibitors attenuate thrombocytosis. We have tested EXEL-8232 for efficacy in suppression of thrombocytosis in vivo, and for its ability to attenuate JAK2V617F-negative MPD mediated by MPLW515L. EXEL-8232 is a potent small molecule inhibitor of JAK2 and is structurally similar to XL019, a compound currently in clinical trials for MF and polycythemia vera. EXEL-8232 is selective for JAK2 with a biochemical IC50 of 2 nM, and abolished constitutive phosphorylation of JAK2 and STAT5, as well as cytokine-independent growth, of Ba/F3 cells in vitro. After disease was established 12 days post-bone marrow transplantation, EXEL-8232 was administered for 28 days q12h by oral gavage at doses of 30mg/kg or 100mg/kg respectively. Animals treated with 100mg/kg normalized high platelet counts in excess of2 million/ml and normalized leukocytosis from a median of 134,000/ml in vehicle treated controls. Furthermore, drug treatment eliminated extramedullary hematopoiesis in the spleen, as well as bone marrow fibrosis. Of note, EXEL-8232 had no impact on erythrocytosis in diseased animals or in wild type controls, and wild type animals treated with either dosage of 30mg/kg or 100mg/kg did not develop thrombocytopenia. Consistent with these clinical responses, the surrogate endpoints for response to treatment included a reduction of genomic disease burden in the 100mg/kg treated arm (p<0.05) as assessed by quantitative PCR, a reduction of endogenous colony growth, as well as a inhibition of activation of P-STAT5, P-STAT3 and P-S6K1 kinase as assessed by flow cytometry in immature erythroid and myeloid primary cells both in vitro and upon treatment in vivo. We conclude that EXEL-8232 has efficacy in treatment of thrombocytosis in vivo in a murine model of ET and MF, and may be of therapeutic benefit for patients with JAK2V617F-negative MPD.

Disclosures: Clary:Exelixis: Employment.

Author notes

Corresponding author