Myelofibrosis, also known as osteomyelofibrosis, is a bone marrow cancer in which the marrow is replaced by fibrotic tissue. Myelofibrosis is classified as a form of chronic leukemia. The production of scar tissue impacts bone both remodeling and the ability to make healthy blood cells. What follows is a lowered production of red blood cells and an increase in immature white cells presenting as severe anemia, fatigue and tiredness.
There are approximately 18,000 new cases of the disease annually in the United States. Current treatment is mainly palliative, although some patients may receive a stem cell transplant. A janus 1/2 kinase (JAK1/2) inhibitor (ruxolitinib) has recently been launched as the first chemotherapeutic to potentially treat this disease. Recent scientific work has shown that certain retinoic acid receptor anatagonists may also have a significant impact on treating myelofibrosis. Mesentech has proprietary compounds that we are developing that may prove to be effective and offer a new treatment option.