Cory Renauer
Value, research analyst, biotech, small-cap

Why Ariad's Iclusig Is A Potential Blockbuster

While trying to explain exactly why the cancer medicine Iclusig (ponatinib) is a real breakthrough for Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) I realized that I needed to provide a bit of background first. Some will find the quick biology lesson below too detailed, others too not detailed enough. I'll happily answer questions in the comments section below.

Chronic myeloid leukemia [CML] is characterized by the unregulated growth of myeloid cells in the bone marrow, which then find their way into the bloodstream. Without getting too detailed, the reason that the myeloid cells grow unchecked is due in large part to out-of-control tyrosine kinases.

In normal cells, tyrosine kinases behave like a button pusher that turns on other proteins that carry...

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