Momelotinib: an emerging treatment for myelofibrosis patients with anemia

J Hematol Oncol. 2022 Jan 19;15(1):7. doi: 10.1186/s13045-021-01157-4.


The suite of marked anemia benefits that momelotinib has consistently conferred on myelofibrosis (MF) patients stem from its unique inhibitory activity on the BMP6/ACVR1/SMAD and IL-6/JAK/STAT3 pathways, resulting in decreased hepcidin (master iron regulator) expression, higher serum iron and hemoglobin levels, and restored erythropoiesis. Clinical data on momelotinib from the phase 2 and the two phase 3 SIMPLIFY trials consistently demonstrated high rates of sustained transfusion-independence. In a recent phase 2 translational study, 41% of the patients achieved transfusion independence for ≥ 12 weeks. In the phase 3 trials SIMPLIFY-1 and SIMPLIFY-2, 17% more JAK inhibitor-naïve patients and two-fold more JAK inhibitor-treated patients achieved or maintained transfusion independence with momelotinib versus ruxolitinib and best available therapy (89% ruxolitinib), respectively. Anemia is present in approximately a third of MF patients at diagnosis, eventually developing in nearly all patients. The need for red blood cell transfusions is an independent adverse risk factor for both overall survival and leukemic transformation. Presently, FDA-approved medications to address anemia are lacking. Momelotinib is one of the prime candidates to durably address the critical unmet needs of MF patients with moderate/severe anemia. Importantly, momelotinib may have overall survival benefits in frontline and second-line MF patients. MOMENTUM is an international registration-track phase 3 trial further assessing momelotinib's unique constellation of anemia and other benefits in second-line MF patients; the results of the MOMENTUM trial are keenly awaited and may lead to regulatory approval of momelotinib.

Keywords: ACVR1 inhibitor; Anemia; Hepcidin; Iron homeostasis; JAK1/2 inhibitor; MOMENTUM; Momelotinib; Myelofibrosis; Myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN); Transfusion-independence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / complications
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Anemia / metabolism
  • Benzamides / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / complications
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Benzamides
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • N-(cyanomethyl)-4-(2-((4-(4-morpholinyl)phenyl)amino)-4-pyrimidinyl)benzamide