Momelotinib is a highly potent inhibitor of FLT3-mutant AML

Blood Adv. 2022 Feb 22;6(4):1186-1192. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004611.


Despite the introduction of more selective FLT3 inhibitors to treat FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML), remissions are short lived, and patients show progressive disease after an initial response. Acquisition of resistance-conferring genetic mutations and growth factor signaling are 2 principal mechanisms that drive relapse. FLT3 inhibitors targeting both escape mechanisms could lead to a more profound and lasting clinical response. Here, we show that the JAK2 inhibitor momelotinib is an equipotent type 1 FLT3 inhibitor. Momelotinib showed potent inhibition of FLT3-internal tandem duplication in mouse and human primary cells and effectively suppressed its clinically relevant resistant variants within the activation loop at residues D835, D839, and Y842. Additionally, momelotinib efficiently suppressed the resistance mediated by growth factors and hematopoietic cytokine-activated JAK2 signaling. Consequently, concomitant inhibition of FLT3 and suppression of growth factor signaling by momelotinib treatment showed better efficacy in suppressing leukemia in a preclinical murine model of AML. Altogether, these data provide evidence that momelotinib is an effective type 1 dual JAK2/FLT3 inhibitor and may offer an alternative to gilteritinib. Its ability to impede the resistance conferred by growth factor signaling and activation loop mutants suggests that momelotinib treatment could provide a deeper and durable response and, thus, warrants its clinical evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzamides
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 / genetics
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3 / therapeutic use


  • Benzamides
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • N-(cyanomethyl)-4-(2-((4-(4-morpholinyl)phenyl)amino)-4-pyrimidinyl)benzamide
  • FLT3 protein, human
  • fms-Like Tyrosine Kinase 3