Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY) has announced that it has amended its previous agreement with Eli Lilly and Company, to provide exclusive rights to develop and market the company’s proprietary JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib. The rights had not been granted under the initial agreement, which was signed on December 18, 2009. Added to this, INCY has already signed another agreement with Novartis, to allow the later exclusive rights to conduct research, develop and commercialize the drug, outside the US.

The drug is used for Graft Versus Host Disease. The CEO of INCY, Herve Hoppenot, stated that his company is focused on the development of drugs for the treatment of diseases, where no approved treatments exist as yet. He also revealed plans to initiate a registration study, in GVHD later this year. The CEO also stated that he hopes that Incyte would be able to accelerate the availability of this much needed drug, to save the lives of the sufferers.

As a result of the amended agreement, Incyte would pay Lilly a total of $35 million, with additional payments, on the achievement of regulatory milestones. Moreover, Novartis is also expected to make payments to Incyte, on the achievement of regulatory milestones, outside the US. It should be noted here that the drug already has gained approval for the treatment of polycythemia and myelofibrosis, two bone marrow conditions.

GVHD generally occurs after allogeneic transplants, where genetically dissimilar stems cells or tissues are transferred. As such, the dissimilar cells tend to see the new environment as hostile and tend to attack the body. The disease can be acute or chronic and is mostly diagnosed through the development of skin conditions, digestive tract and abnormal liver function. Incyte has already filed a form 8-K in this regard.

Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY) gained 11.62%, in terms of share value and had a trade volume of 2.75 million, to close at a share price of $81.87, at the end of the April 6 trading session.