by Manfred Kraus, Yuxun Wang, Dan Aleksandrowicz, Eric Bachman, Alexander A. Szewczak, Deborah Walker, Lin Xu, Melaney Bouthillette, Kaleen M. Childers, Brian Dolinski, Andrew M. Haidle, Johnny Kopinja, Linda Lee, Jongwon Lim, Kevin D. Little, Yanhong Ma, Anjili Mathur, Jan-Rung Mo, Erin O’Hare, Ryan D. Otte, Brandon M. Taoka, Wenxian Wang, Hong Yin, Anna A. Zabierek, Weisheng Zhang, Shuxia Zhao, Joe Zhu, Jonathan R. Young, C. Gary Marshall
A high percentage of patients with the myeloproliferative disorder polycythemia vera (PV) harbor a Val617?Phe activating mutation in the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) gene, and both cell culture and mouse models have established a functional role for this mutation in the development of this disease. We describe the properties of MRLB-11055, a highly potent inhibitor of both the WT and V617F forms of JAK2, that has therapeutic efficacy in erythropoietin (EPO)-driven and JAK2V617F-driven mouse models of PV. In cultured cells, MRLB-11055 blocked proliferation and induced apoptosis in a manner consistent with JAK2 pathway inhibition. MRLB-11055 effectively prevented EPO-induced STAT5 activation in the peripheral blood of acutely dosed mice, and could prevent EPO-induced splenomegaly and erythrocytosis in chronically dosed mice. In a bone marrow reconstituted JAK2V617F-luciferase murine PV model, MRLB-11055 rapidly reduced the burden of JAK2V617F-expressing cells from both the spleen and the bone marrow. Using real-time in vivo imaging, we examined the kinetics of disease regression and resurgence, enabling the development of an intermittent dosing schedule that achieved significant reductions in both erythroid and myeloid populations with minimal impact on lymphoid cells. Our studies provide a rationale for the use of non-continuous treatment to provide optimal therapy for PV patients.