New ‘Voices of MPN’ Initiative Unites, Connects and Supports
Community Affected by Rare Blood Cancers: Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, and it is estimated that nearly 300,000 people in the United States are living with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs)1, a group of closely related blood cancers that includes myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia2. People impacted by chronic, rare conditions like MPNs may lack access to the resources they need. Voices of MPN™, a new initiative developed by Incyte Corporation, builds upon an idea originated by advocacy groups in the MPN community, who believe that raising the voices of those with MPNs will shine a light on these rare diseases and encourage unity, connection and support for people affected by MPNs.
To raise awareness of these rare diseases, the MPN Coalition, a group of seven patient organizations dedicated to providing support to people living with these blood cancers, has designated September 12, 2013, as MPN Awareness Day.
“The needs of people living with rare diseases like MPNs can often go unheard. But when we all join together – individuals, caregivers, advocates and health care professionals – our voices are stronger,” stated Antje Hjerpe, MPN Education Foundation.
The Voices of MPN  website links people to disease information, educational programs and community activities, while inviting them to share their stories. A portion of the site is dedicated to recognizing individuals who have made a significant impact on the MPN community. Voices of MPN Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest pages invite people to learn more about MPNs and help spread awareness through social media sharing.
“Incyte is committed to making a difference in the lives of patients,” stated Paul A. Friedman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Incyte Corporation. “By joining with others in the MPN community, our goal is to increase awareness of MPNs and, through the Voices of MPN program, help people living with MPNs make important connections within the community.”
Call for Nominees – MPN Heroes
The Voices of MPN website includes information on how to participate in the MPN HeroesTM recognition program, sponsored by Incyte and in collaboration with CURE Media Group, publishers of CURE magazine. MPN Heroes is a program to recognize individuals and organizations who have provided health care above and beyond the standard of care, demonstrated outstanding commitment, provided leadership to the community, or advanced science for MPNs. Nomination instructions are available at www.MPNHeroes.com , and nomination forms will be accepted until October 18, 2013. An independent judging panel will select MPN Heroes for recognition under two categories: Commitment to the individual; and commitment to the broader MPN community. Those recognized for commitment to the individual will receive a plaque to recognize their achievement, and those recognized for commitment to the broader MPN community will be asked to designate an organization engaged in MPN activities to receive a $25,000 charitable donation.
For those who want to informally recognize a person who has touched the lives of those impacted by MPNs, there is also the Wall of Voices, a virtual wall of recognition where individuals can submit pictures and a few lines of testimony about an individual or organization that has made a difference. Incyte will donate $5 to the MPN Research Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity, for each posting on the Wall of Voices. Upon completion of the posting, individuals will be given the option to register for MPN updates and resources, including ribbons and bracelets.
“The MPN Research Foundation is intensely focused on meeting the needs of patients by supporting innovative MPN research in pursuit of new treatments and eventually a cure for these rare blood cancers,” stated Barbara Vanhusen, MPN Research Foundation. “Much progress has been made since we awarded our first research grant in 2000, at a time when MPNs were not well understood by the medical community, were largely ignored by the scientific community, and had very limited treatment options. Today, it is gratifying to see so many new alliances and programs in place and evolving to better serve the needs of patients and their families.”
About Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs)
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a closely related group of blood cancers in which the bone marrow cells that produce the body's blood cells develop and function abnormally.2 The three main myeloproliferative neoplasms are myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia.2 MPNs are progressive blood cancers that can strike anyone at any age. Estimates of the prevalence of MPNs vary, but analysis of claims data suggests there may be as many as 300,000 people in the U.S. living with MPNs1. Although there is currently not a cure for MPNs, the discovery of a gene marker, JAK2, in 2005 has led to the development of more effective, targeted therapies2. Several treatment options are available, including one new drug specifically for myelofibrosis that was approved in 2012.3
Incyte Corporation is a Wilmington, Delaware-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary small molecule drugs for oncology and inflammation. For additional information on Incyte, please visit the Company's website at www.incyte.com .
1 “Prevalence,” MPN Research Foundation, http://www.mpnresearchfoundation.org/Prevalence 
2 “Learning About MPNs - PV, ET, PMF” MPN Research Foundation, http://www.mpnresearchfoundation.org/Overview-Page 
3 “Understanding MPNs,” MPN Advocacy & Education International, http://mpnadvocacy.com/understanding-mpns/