First-Line Lung Cancer Data and Other New Research from Mercks Broad Oncology Program to be Presented at AACR Annual Meeting


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Business Wire 14-Mar-2018 6:30 PM
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Late-Breaker Presentation of Overall Survival and Progression-Free Survival Results from Pivotal Phase 3 KEYNOTE-189 Trial with KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) Plus Pemetrexed and Platinum Chemotherapy in First-Line Treatment of Advanced Nonsquamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
First-Time KEYTRUDA Data Including Recurrence-Free Survival from Phase 3 KEYNOTE-054 Study, in Collaboration with EORTC, in Patients with Stage III Surgically Resected High-Risk Melanoma
Additional Research with KEYTRUDA, Investigational STING Agonist (MK-1454) and Mercks Collaboration with AstraZeneca for LYNPARZA (olaparib) to be Presented
KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that new research from Mercks broad oncology clinical program across several major tumor types, as monotherapy and in combination will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago from April 14-18. For the first time, data from the pivotal phase 3 KEYNOTE-189 trial with KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), Mercks anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with pemetrexed (ALIMTA) and cisplatin or carboplatin for the first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will be presented (Abstract #CT075). In January 2018, Merck announced the KEYNOTE-189 study met its dual primary endpoints, and the KEYTRUDA combination resulted in significantly longer overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) than pemetrexed plus platinum chemotherapy alone. In addition, results from the phase 3 KEYNOTE-054 trial, in collaboration with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), studying KEYTRUDA in adjuvant melanoma will be presented (Abstract #CT001). As previously announced, this is the first KEYTRUDA trial to demonstrate a significant recurrence-free survival (RFS) benefit in the adjuvant treatment setting for stage III melanoma.
Our global efforts in immuno-oncology research, anchored by KEYTRUDA, are fueled by a commitment to improve the lives of patients suffering from malignant disease, said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. New studies to be presented at AACR, including our KEYNOTE-189 and -054 trials in first-line lung cancer and adjuvant melanoma, respectively, demonstrate the progress that we and our colleagues have made in developing treatment regimens for a broad range of cancers.
The science of immunotherapy has advanced significantly in recent years, and Merck is forging new ground through its research efforts. At the Cancer Research Institute, we support the discovery of new treatment options for people with cancer and we are very excited about the new research with KEYTRUDA in first-line lung cancer and other cancers to be presented at AACR, said Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., chief executive officer and director of scientific affairs, Cancer Research Institute (CRI).
With KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) and a growing early pipeline of 20 novel mechanisms, Merck has become a leader in immuno-oncology research with the largest clinical program in the industry. Data from Mercks broad portfolio including KEYTRUDA, internally-discovered investigational STING agonist (MK-1454), and several collaborations including with AstraZeneca for the PARP inhibitor LYNPARZA (olaparib), will be featured in more than 20 oral plenary and poster presentations.
Select data highlights at AACR include:
KEYNOTE-189: Randomized, double-blind, phase 3 study of pembrolizumab (pembro) or placebo plus pemetrexed (pem) and platinum as first-line therapy for metastatic NSCLC. Top-line results showed that the KEYTRUDA combination improved OS and PFS in the first-line treatment of nonsquamous NSCLC. Abstract #CT075. L Gandhi. Plenary Session: Monday, April 16, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CDT.
KEYNOTE-054 (EORTC1325): Pembrolizumab versus placebo after complete resection of high-risk stage III melanoma: Efficacy and safety results from the EORTC 1325-MG/KEYNOTE-054 double-blinded phase III trial. In January 2018, Merck and EORTC announced the study met the primary endpoint of RFS, showing significant benefit for patients with resected stage III melanoma who received KEYTRUDA compared to placebo. Abstract #CT001. A Eggermont. Plenary Session: Sunday, April 15, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. CDT.
KEYNOTE-040: Updated survival results of the KEYNOTE-040 study of pembrolizumab vs standard-of-care chemotherapy for recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Updated OS results will be presented at AACR. Abstract #CT115. D Soulires. Minisymposium: Monday, April 16, 3:00-5:00 p.m. CDT.
Mercks Early Pipeline: Combining STING Agonists with an Anti-PD-1 Antagonist results in Marked AntiTumor Activity in Immune-Excluded Tumors. MK-1454, Mercks investigational STING (stimulator of interferon genes) agonist, is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 study as monotherapy and in combination with KEYTRUDA in patients with advanced solid tumors and lymphomas. Abstract #4721/24. S Perera. Poster Presentation: Tuesday, April 17, 1:00-5:00 p.m. CDT.
OlympiAD: OlympiAD final overall survival: Olaparib versus chemotherapy treatment of physicians choice (TPC) in patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer (mBC) and a germline BRCA mutation (gBRCAm). Abstract #CT038. M Robson. Minisymposium: Sunday, April 15, 3:00-5:00 p.m. CDT.
Additional data to be presented for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) and from Mercks collaboration with AstraZeneca for LYNPARZA (olaparib) include:
Additional KEYTRUDA Data at AACR
Minisymposium: Safety, efficacy, and immune correlates of alternative doses and schedules of entinostat combined with pembrolizumab in patients with advanced solid tumors - results from SNDX-275-0141 Phase I trial. AW Tolcher.
Minisymposium: Biomarkers predictive of response to pembrolizumab in head and neck cancer (HNSCC). TY Seiwert.
Minisymposium: Effect of JAK/STAT or PI3K plus PD-1 inhibition on the tumor microenvironment: Biomarker results from a phase 1b study in patients with advanced solid tumors. J.M. Kirkwood.
Poster Presentation: Durability of responses to the combination of SD-101 and pembrolizumab in advanced metastatic melanoma: Results of a phase 1b, multicenter study. A Ribas.
Poster Presentation: Phase Ib/II, open-label, multicenter study of intratumoral SD-101 in combination with pembrolizumab in anti-PD-1 treatment-nave patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). E Cohen.
Poster Presentation: Imprime PGG, a soluble yeast -glucan PAMP, in combination with Pembrolizumab induces infiltration and activation of both innate and adaptive immune cells within tumor sites in melanoma and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. MT Uhlik.
Poster Presentation: Comprehensive investigation of Programmed Death Receptor Ligand 1 (PD-L1) Expression and Associated Molecular Features in Gastric Cancer patients. X Liu.
Poster Presentation: Molecular Biomarker Study of Programmed Death Receptor Ligand 1 (PD-L1) in Korean Patients with Lung Adenocarcinoma. X Liu.
Additional LYNPARZA Data at AACR
Poster Presentation: A two-stage Simon Design phase II study for NOn-BRCA metastatic BReast cancer (MBC) patients with homologous recombination deficiency treated with OLAparib single agent. (NOBROLA study). E Aguirre.
Poster Presentation: Testing a combination of AKT inhibitor (AZD5363) with PARP inhibitor Olaparib plus Carboplatin in TNBC. JH Carlson.
Poster Presentation: Patient derived ovarian cancer xenograft (OC-PDX) to study the response of the PARP inhibitor olaparib. F Bizzaro.
Poster Presentation: Adaptive oncology phase 1 study of first-in-class inhibitor of ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein kinase (ATM), in combination with olaparib. Y Chen.
Poster Presentation: A pre-surgical window of opportunity study to investigate the biomarker effects of DNA damage response (DDR) agents in patients (pts) with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC). U Duvvuri.
Poster Presentation: The PARP inhibitor olaparib is synergistic with the ATR inhibitor AZD6738 in ATM deficient cancer cells. R Lloyd.
Poster Session: A head-to-head comparison of the properties of five clinical PARP inhibitors identifies new insights that can explain both the observed clinical efficacy and safety profiles. E Leo.
For more information, including a complete list of abstract titles, please see the AACR program athttp://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/4562.
Merck Investor Event: Merck will hold an investor event in conjunction with the 2018 AACR Annual Meeting on Monday, April 16 at 6:45 p.m. CDT (7:45 p.m. EDT).Those unable to attend in person will be able to listen to a live audio webcast of the presentation. Details of the event to be provided at a date closer to the event at http://investors.merck.com/home/default.aspx.
About KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) Injection 100mg
KEYTRUDA is an anti-PD-1 therapy that works by increasing the ability of the bodys immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells. KEYTRUDA is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, thereby activating T lymphocytes which may affect both tumor cells and healthy cells.
Merck has the industrys largest immuno-oncology clinical research program, which currently involves more than 700 trials studying KEYTRUDA across a wide variety of cancers and treatment settings. The KEYTRUDA clinical program seeks to understand the role of KEYTRUDA across cancers and the factors that may predict a patients likelihood of benefitting from treatment with KEYTRUDA, including exploring several different biomarkers.
KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) Indications and Dosing
Melanoma
KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
Lung Cancer
KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression [tumor proportion score (TPS) 50%] as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.
KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is also indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1 (TPS 1%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy. Patients with EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations should have disease progression on FDA-approved therapy for these aberrations prior to receiving KEYTRUDA.
KEYTRUDA, in combination with pemetrexed and carboplatin, is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and progression-free survival. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.
In metastatic NSCLC, KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) is administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.
When administering KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy, KEYTRUDA should be administered prior to chemotherapy when given on the same day. See also the Prescribing Information for pemetrexed and carboplatin.
Head and Neck Cancer
KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials. In HNSCC, KEYTRUDA is administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.
Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), or who have relapsed after three or more prior lines of therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials. In adults with cHL, KEYTRUDA is administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression. In pediatric patients with cHL, KEYTRUDA is administered at a dose of 2 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 200 mg) every three weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.
Urothelial Carcinoma
KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who are not eligible for cisplatin-containing chemotherapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.
KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) is also indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.
In locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, KEYTRUDA is administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.
Microsatellite Instability-High (MSI-H) Cancer
KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR)
solid tumors that have progressed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options, or
colorectal cancer that has progressed following treatment with fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan.
This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials. The safety and effectiveness of KEYTRUDA in pediatric patients with MSI-H central nervous system cancers have not been established.
In adult patients with MSI-H cancer, KEYTRUDA is administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression. In children with MSI-H cancer, KEYTRUDA is administered at a dose of 2 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 200 mg) every three weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.
Gastric Cancer
KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma whose tumors express PD-L1 [Combined Positive Score (CPS) 1] as determined by an FDA-approved test, with disease progression on or after two or more prior lines of therapy including fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy and if appropriate, HER2/neu-targeted therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials. The recommended dose of KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) is 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.
Selected Important Safety Information for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab)
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis, including fatal cases. Pneumonitis occurred in 94 (3.4%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 1 (0.8%), 2 (1.3%), 3 (0.9%), 4 (0.3%), and 5 (0.1%) pneumonitis, and occurred more frequently in patients with a history of prior thoracic radiation (6.9%) compared to those without (2.9%). Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of pneumonitis. Evaluate suspected pneumonitis with radiographic imaging. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater pneumonitis. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 3 or 4 or recurrent Grade 2 pneumonitis.
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated colitis. Colitis occurred in 48 (1.7%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.4%), 3 (1.1%), and 4 (<0.1%) colitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of colitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater colitis. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2 or 3; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 4 colitis.
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Hepatitis occurred in 19 (0.7%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.1%), 3 (0.4%), and 4 (<0.1%) hepatitis. Monitor patients for changes in liver function. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater hepatitis and, based on severity of liver enzyme elevations, withhold or discontinue KEYTRUDA.
KEYTRUDA can cause hypophysitis. Hypophysitis occurred in 17 (0.6%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.2%), 3 (0.3%), and 4 (<0.1%) hypophysitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of hypophysitis (including hypopituitarism and adrenal insufficiency). Administer corticosteroids and hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; withhold or discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 hypophysitis.
KEYTRUDA can cause thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroiditis. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 96 (3.4%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.8%) and 3 (0.1%) hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurred in 237 (8.5%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (6.2%) and 3 (0.1%) hypothyroidism. The incidence of new or worsening hypothyroidism was higher in patients with HNSCC, occurring in 28 (15%) of 192 patients with HNSCC, including Grade 3 (0.5%) hypothyroidism. Thyroiditis occurred in 16 (0.6%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), including Grade 2 (0.3%) thyroiditis. Monitor patients for changes in thyroid function (at the start of treatment, periodically during treatment, and as indicated based on clinical evaluation) and for clinical signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders. Administer replacement hormones for hypothyroidism and manage hyperthyroidism with thionamides and beta-blockers as appropriate. Withhold or discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 3 or 4 hyperthyroidism.
KEYTRUDA can cause type 1 diabetes mellitus, including diabetic ketoacidosis, which have been reported in 6 (0.2%) of 2799 patients. Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes. Administer insulin for type 1 diabetes, and withhold KEYTRUDA and administer antihyperglycemics in patients with severe hyperglycemia.
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Nephritis occurred in 9 (0.3%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.1%), 3 (0.1%), and 4 (<0.1%) nephritis. Monitor patients for changes in renal function. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater nephritis. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 3 or 4 nephritis.
Immune-mediated rashes, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) (some cases with fatal outcome), exfoliative dermatitis, and bullous pemphigoid, can occur. Monitor patients for suspected severe skin reactions and based on the severity of the adverse reaction, withhold or permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA and administer corticosteroids. For signs or symptoms of SJS or TEN, withhold KEYTRUDA and refer the patient for specialized care for assessment and treatment. If SJS or TEN is confirmed, permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA.
KEYTRUDA can cause other clinically important immune-mediated adverse reactions. These immune-mediated reactions may occur in any organ system. For suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, ensure adequate evaluation to confirm etiology or exclude other causes. Based on the severity of the adverse reaction, withhold KEYTRUDA and administer corticosteroids. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Based on limited data from clinical studies in patients whose immune-related adverse reactions could not be controlled with corticosteroid use, administration of other systemic immunosuppressants can be considered. Resume KEYTRUDA when the adverse reaction remains at Grade 1 or less following corticosteroid taper. Permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) for any Grade 3 immune-mediated adverse reaction that recurs and for any life-threatening immune-mediated adverse reaction.
The following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred in less than 1% (unless otherwise indicated) of 2799 patients: arthritis (1.5%), uveitis, myositis, Guillain-Barr syndrome, myasthenia gravis, vasculitis, pancreatitis, hemolytic anemia, and partial seizures arising in a patient with inflammatory foci in brain parenchyma. In addition, myelitis and myocarditis were reported in other clinical trials, including classical Hodgkin lymphoma, and postmarketing use.
Solid organ transplant rejection has been reported in postmarketing use of KEYTRUDA. Treatment with KEYTRUDA may increase the risk of rejection in solid organ transplant recipients. Consider the benefit of treatment with KEYTRUDA vs the risk of possible organ rejection in these patients.
KEYTRUDA can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions, including hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis, which have been reported in 6 (0.2%) of 2799 patients. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions, including rigors, chills, wheezing, pruritus, flushing, rash, hypotension, hypoxemia, and fever. For Grade 3 or 4 reactions, stop infusion and permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA.
Immune-mediated complications, including fatal events, occurred in patients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) after being treated with KEYTRUDA. Of 23 patients with cHL who proceeded to allogeneic HSCT after treatment with KEYTRUDA on any trial, 6 patients (26%) developed graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), one of which was fatal, and 2 patients (9%) developed severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced-intensity conditioning, one of which was fatal. Cases of fatal hyperacute GVHD after allogeneic HSCT have also been reported in patients with lymphoma who received a PD-1 receptorblocking antibody before transplantation.
These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT. Follow patients closely for early evidence of transplant-related complications such as hyperacute GVHD, severe (Grade 3 to 4) acute GVHD, steroid-requiring febrile syndrome, hepatic VOD, and other immune-mediated adverse reactions, and intervene promptly.
In clinical trials in patients with multiple myeloma, the addition of KEYTRUDA to a thalidomide analogue plus dexamethasone resulted in increased mortality. Treatment of these patients with a PD-1 or PD-L1 blocking antibody in this combination is not recommended outside of controlled clinical trials.
Based on its mechanism of action, KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant during treatment, apprise the patient of the potential hazard to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use highly effective contraception during treatment and for 4 months after the last dose of KEYTRUDA.
In KEYNOTE-006, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 9% of 555 patients with advanced melanoma; adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in more than one patient were colitis (1.4%), autoimmune hepatitis (0.7%), allergic reaction (0.4%), polyneuropathy (0.4%), and cardiac failure (0.4%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 21% of patients; the most common (1%) was diarrhea (2.5%). The most common adverse reactions with KEYTRUDA vs ipilimumab were fatigue (28% vs 28%), diarrhea (26% with KEYTRUDA), rash (24% vs 23%), and nausea (21% with KEYTRUDA). Corresponding incidence rates are listed for ipilimumab only for those adverse reactions that occurred at the same or lower rate than with KEYTRUDA.
In KEYNOTE-010, KEYTRUDA monotherapy was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8% of 682 patients with metastatic NSCLC. The most common adverse event resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA was pneumonitis (1.8%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 23% of patients; the most common (1%) were diarrhea (1%), fatigue (1.3%), pneumonia (1%), liver enzyme elevation (1.2%), decreased appetite (1.3%), and pneumonitis (1%). The most common adverse reactions (occurring in at least 20% of patients and at a higher incidence than with docetaxel) were decreased appetite (25% vs 23%), dyspnea (23% vs 20%), and nausea (20% vs 18%).
In KEYNOTE-021(G1), when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with carboplatin and pemetrexed (carbo/pem) in advanced nonsquamous NSCLC, KEYTRUDA was discontinued in 10% of 59 patients. The most common adverse reaction resulting in discontinuation of KEYTRUDA (2%) was acute kidney injury (3.4%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 39% of patients; the most common (2%) were fatigue (8%), neutrophil count decreased (8%), anemia (5%), dyspnea (3.4%), and pneumonitis (3.4%). The most common adverse reactions (20%) with KEYTRUDA compared to carbo/pem alone were fatigue (71% vs 50%), nausea (68% vs 56%), constipation (51% vs 37%), rash (42% vs 21%), vomiting (39% vs 27%), dyspnea (39% vs 21%), diarrhea (37% vs 23%), decreased appetite (31% vs 23%), headache (31% vs 16%), cough (24% vs 18%), dizziness (24% vs 16%), insomnia (24% vs 15%), pruritus (24% vs 4.8%), peripheral edema (22% vs 18%), dysgeusia (20% vs 11%), alopecia (20% vs 3.2%), upper respiratory tract infection (20% vs 3.2%), and arthralgia (15% vs 24%). This study was not designed to demonstrate a statistically significant difference in adverse reaction rates for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) as compared to carbo/pem alone for any specified adverse reaction.
In KEYNOTE-012, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 17% of 192 patients with HNSCC. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 45% of patients. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in at least 2% of patients were pneumonia, dyspnea, confusional state, vomiting, pleural effusion, and respiratory failure. The most common adverse reactions (reported in at least 20% of patients) were fatigue, decreased appetite, and dyspnea. Adverse reactions occurring in patients with HNSCC were generally similar to those occurring in patients with melanoma or NSCLC, with the exception of increased incidences of facial edema (10% all Grades; 2.1% Grades 3 or 4) and new or worsening hypothyroidism.
In KEYNOTE-087, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 5% of 210 patients with cHL, and treatment was interrupted due to adverse reactions in 26% of patients. Fifteen percent (15%) of patients had an adverse reaction requiring systemic corticosteroid therapy. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 16% of patients. The most frequent serious adverse reactions (1%) included pneumonia, pneumonitis, pyrexia, dyspnea, GVHD, and herpes zoster. Two patients died from causes other than disease progression; one from GVHD after subsequent allogeneic HSCT and one from septic shock. The most common adverse reactions (occurring in 20% of patients) were fatigue (26%), pyrexia (24%), cough (24%), musculoskeletal pain (21%), diarrhea (20%), and rash (20%).
In KEYNOTE-052, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 11% of 370 patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma. The most common adverse reactions (in 20% of patients) were fatigue (38%), musculoskeletal pain (24%), decreased appetite (22%), constipation (21%), rash (21%), and diarrhea (20%). Eighteen patients (5%) died from causes other than disease progression. Five patients (1.4%) who were treated with KEYTRUDA experienced sepsis which led to death, and 3 patients (0.8%) experienced pneumonia which led to death. Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 22% of patients; the most common (1%) were liver enzyme increase, diarrhea, urinary tract infection, acute kidney injury, fatigue, joint pain, and pneumonia. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 42% of patients, the most frequent (2%) of which were urinary tract infection, hematuria, acute kidney injury, pneumonia, and urosepsis.
In KEYNOTE-045, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8% of 266 patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma. The most common adverse reaction resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) was pneumonitis (1.9%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 20% of patients; the most common (1%) were urinary tract infection (1.5%), diarrhea (1.5%), and colitis (1.1%). The most common adverse reactions (20%) in patients who received KEYTRUDA vs those who received chemotherapy were fatigue (38% vs 56%), musculoskeletal pain (32% vs 27%), pruritus (23% vs 6%), decreased appetite (21% vs 21%), nausea (21% vs 29%), and rash (20% vs 13%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 39% of KEYTRUDA-treated patients, the most frequent (2%) of which were urinary tract infection, pneumonia, anemia, and pneumonitis.
It is not known whether KEYTRUDA is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, instruct women to discontinue nursing during treatment with KEYTRUDA and for 4 months after the final dose.
There is limited experience in pediatric patients. In a study, 40 pediatric patients (16 children aged 2 years to younger than 12 years and 24 adolescents aged 12 years to 18 years) with advanced melanoma, lymphoma, or PD-L1positive advanced, relapsed, or refractory solid tumors were administered KEYTRUDA 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Patients received KEYTRUDA for a median of 3 doses (range 117 doses), with 34 patients (85%) receiving KEYTRUDA for 2 doses or more. The safety profile in these pediatric patients was similar to that seen in adults treated with KEYTRUDA. Toxicities that occurred at a higher rate (15% difference) in these patients when compared to adults under 65 years of age were fatigue (45%), vomiting (38%), abdominal pain (28%), hypertransaminasemia (28%), and hyponatremia (18%).
About LYNPARZA (olaparib)
LYNPARZA is the first FDA-approved oral poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor and the first targeted treatment to potentially exploit DNA damage response (DDR) pathway deficiencies, such as BRCA mutations, to preferentially kill cancer cells. Specifically, in vitro studies have shown that LYNPARZA-induced cytotoxicity may involve inhibition of PARP enzymatic activity and increased formation of PARP-DNA complexes, resulting in DNA damage and cancer cell death.
Indications for LYNPARZA (olaparib) in the U.S.
LYNPARZA is a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor indicated:
For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer, who are in complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.
For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germlineBRCA-mutated (gBRCAm) advanced ovarian cancer who have been treated with 3 or more prior lines of chemotherapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA (olaparib).
In patients with deleterious or suspected deleteriousgBRCAm,human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer who have previously been treated with chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant or metastatic setting. Patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer should have been treated with a prior endocrine therapy or be considered inappropriate for endocrine treatment. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.
Important Safety Information for LYNPARZA (olaparib)
Contraindications
There are no contraindications for LYNPARZA.
Warnings and Precautions
Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Acute Myeloid Leukemia (MDS/AML):Occurred in <1.5% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA monotherapy, and the majority of events had a fatal outcome. The duration of therapy in patients who developed secondary MDS/AML varied from <6 months to >2 years. All of these patients had previous chemotherapy with platinum agents and/or other DNA-damaging agents, including radiotherapy, and some also had a history of more than one primary malignancy or of bone marrow dysplasia.
Do not start LYNPARZA until patients have recovered from hematological toxicity caused by previous chemotherapy (Grade 1). Monitor complete blood count for cytopenia at baseline and monthly thereafter for clinically significant changes during treatment. For prolonged hematological toxicities, interrupt LYNPARZA and monitor blood count weekly until recovery.
If the levels have not recovered to Grade 1 or less after 4 weeks, refer the patient to a hematologist for further investigations, including bone marrow analysis and blood sample for cytogenetics. Discontinue LYNPARZA if MDS/AML is confirmed.
Pneumonitis:Occurred in <1% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA (olaparib), and some cases were fatal. If patients present with new or worsening respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, cough, and fever, or a radiological abnormality occurs, interrupt LYNPARZA treatment and initiate prompt investigation. Discontinue LYNPARZA if pneumonitis is confirmed and treat patient appropriately.
Embryo-Fetal Toxicity:Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, LYNPARZA can cause fetal harm. A pregnancy test is recommended for females of reproductive potential prior to initiating treatment. Advise females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus and to use effective contraception during treatment and for 6 months following the last dose.Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential or who are pregnant to use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months following the last dose of LYNPARZA and to not donate sperm during this time.
Adverse ReactionsMaintenance Setting
Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in 20% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA (olaparib) in themaintenance settingforSOLO-2: nausea (76%), fatigue (including asthenia) (66%), anemia (44%), vomiting (37%), nasopharyngitis/upper respiratory tract infection (URI)/influenza (36%), diarrhea (33%), arthralgia/myalgia (30%), dysgeusia (27%), headache (26%), decreased appetite (22%), and stomatitis (20%).
Study 19:nausea (71%), fatigue (including asthenia) (63%), vomiting (35%), diarrhea (28%), anemia (23%), respiratory tract infection (22%), constipation (22%), headache (21%), and decreased appetite (21%).
Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in 25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in themaintenance setting (SOLO-2/Study 19) were: increase in mean corpuscular volume (89%/82%), decrease in hemoglobin (83%/82%), decrease in leukocytes (69%/58%), decrease in lymphocytes (67%/52%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (51%/47%), increase in serum creatinine (44%/45%), and decrease in platelets (42%/36%).
Adverse ReactionsAdvanced gBRCAm Ovarian Cancer
Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in 20% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA foradvanced gBRCAm ovarian cancer after 3 or more lines of chemotherapy(pooled from 6 studies) were: fatigue (including asthenia) (66%), nausea (64%), vomiting (43%), anemia (34%), diarrhea (31%), nasopharyngitis/upper respiratory tract infection (URI) (26%), dyspepsia (25%), myalgia (22%), decreased appetite (22%), and arthralgia/musculoskeletal pain (21%).
Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in 25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA (olaparib) foradvanced gBRCAm ovarian cancer(pooled from 6 studies) were: decrease in hemoglobin (90%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (57%), decrease in lymphocytes (56%), increase in serum creatinine (30%), decrease in platelets (30%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (25%).
Adverse ReactionsgBRCAm, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer
Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in 20% of patients inOlympiADwere: nausea (58%), anemia (40%), fatigue (including asthenia) (37%), vomiting (30%), neutropenia (27%), respiratory tract infection (27%), leukopenia (25%), diarrhea (21%), and headache (20%).
Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in 25% of patients inOlympiADwere: decrease in hemoglobin (82%), decrease in lymphocytes (73%), decrease in leukocytes (71%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (71%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (46%), and decrease in platelets (33%).
Drug Interactions
Anticancer Agents:Clinical studies of LYNPARZA in combination with other myelosuppressive anticancer agents, including DNA-damaging agents, indicate a potentiation and prolongation of myelosuppressive toxicity.
CYP3A Inhibitors:Avoid concomitant use of strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitors. If a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor must be co-administered, reduce the dose of LYNPARZA. Advise patients to avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, Seville oranges, and Seville orange juice during LYNPARZA treatment.
CYP3A Inducers:Avoid concomitant use of strong or moderate CYP3A inducers when using LYNPARZA (olaparib). If a moderate inducer cannot be avoided, there is a potential for decreased efficacy of LYNPARZA.
Use in Specific Populations
Lactation:No data are available regarding the presence of olaparib in human milk, its effects on the breastfed infant or on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in the breastfed infant, advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment with LYNPARZA (olaparib) and for 1 month after receiving the final dose.
Pediatric Use:The safety and efficacy of LYNPARZA have not been established in pediatric patients.
Hepatic Impairment:No adjustment to the starting dose is required in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification A). There are no data in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment.
Renal Impairment:No adjustment to the starting dose is necessary in patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr=51-80 mL/min). In patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr=31-50 mL/min), reduce the dose to 200 mg twice daily. There are no data in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease (CLcr 30 mL/min).
Dosing and Administration
To avoid substitution errors and overdose,do not substitute LYNPARZAtablets with LYNPARZA capsuleson a milligram-to-milligram basis due to differences in the dosing and bioavailability of each formulation. Recommended tablet dose is 300 mg, taken orally twice daily, with or without food. Continue treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. For adverse reactions, consider dose interruption or dose reduction.
About the AstraZeneca and Merck Strategic Oncology Collaboration
In July 2017, AstraZeneca and Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) announced a global strategic oncology collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize LYNPARZA, the worlds first PARP inhibitor, and potential new medicine selumetinib, a MEK inhibitor, for multiple cancer types. The collaboration is based on increasing evidence that PARP and MEK inhibitors can be combined with PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitors for a range of tumor types. Working together, the companies will jointly develop LYNPARZA and selumetinib in combination with other potential new medicines and as a monotherapy. Independently, the companies will develop LYNPARZA and selumetinib in combination with their respective PD-L1 and PD-1 medicines.
Mercks Focus on Cancer
Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck, helping people fight cancer is our passion and supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment. Our focus is on pursuing research in immuno-oncology and we are accelerating every step in the journey from lab to clinic to potentially bring new hope to people with cancer.
As part of our focus on cancer, Merck is committed to exploring the potential of immuno-oncology with one of the fastest-growing development programs in the industry. We are currently executing an expansive research program evaluating our anti-PD-1 therapy across more than 30 tumor types. We also continue to strengthen our immuno-oncology portfolio through strategic acquisitions and are prioritizing the development of several promising immunotherapeutic candidates with the potential to improve the treatment of advanced cancers.
For more information about our oncology clinical trials, visit www.merck.com/clinicaltrials.
About Merck
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the worlds most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimers disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visitwww.merck.com andconnect with us onTwitter,Facebook,Instagram, YouTube andLinkedIn.
Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the company) includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the companys management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the companys ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the companys patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the companys 2017 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the companys other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SECs Internet site (www.sec.gov).
Please see Prescribing Information for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_pi.pdf and Patient Information/Medication Guide for KEYTRUDA at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_mg.pdf .
Please see complete Prescribing Information for LYNPARZA (olaparib) tablets https://www.azpicentral.com/lynparza_tb/pi_lynparza_tb.pdf#page=1 and complete Prescribing Information for LYNPARZA capsules, https://www.azpicentral.com/Lynparza/pi_lynparza.pdf#page=1 including Patient Information (Medication Guides).
ALIMTAis a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company.

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Merck Media:Pamela Eisele, 267-305-3558orCourtney Ronaldo, 908-740-6132orInvestors:Teri Loxam, 908-740-1986orMichael DeCarbo, 908-740-1807
Source: Merck

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