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Merck - RESULTS FROM PIVOTAL PHASE 3 KEYNOTE-775/STUDY 309 TRIAL OF KEYTRUDA (PEMBROLIZUMAB) PLUS LENVIMA (LENVATINIB) IN ADVANCED ENDOMETRIAL CARCINOMA PUBLISHED IN THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE

01/21/2022 | 09:06am EDT

KENILWORTH, N.J., and NUTLEY, N.J. - Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Eisai announced the publication of results from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 trial in the January 19, 2022 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The pivotal study evaluated the combination of KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, plus LENVIMA, the orally available multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor discovered by Eisai, versus chemotherapy (treatment of physician's choice of doxorubicin or paclitaxel) for patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma following at least one prior platinum-based regimen in any setting.

The publication includes previously reported data that was first presented in an oral plenary session at the virtual Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2021 Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer [see news release from SGO 2021 here]. Results showed that the KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA combination demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the dual primary endpoints of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared to chemotherapy. Objective response rate (ORR) data and additional detailed efficacy and safety data, including subgroup analyses, are also featured in the publication.

'While rates of endometrial carcinoma continue to rise globally, patients with advanced or recurrent disease have limited options available to them once the disease progresses following platinum-based chemotherapy,' said Dr. Gregory Lubiniecki, Vice President, Oncology Clinical Research, Merck Research Laboratories. 'KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 is an important Phase 3 study that supported recent approvals of KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA for certain types of advanced endometrial carcinoma in the U.S. and other countries around the world, where it became the first immunotherapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitor combination approved for these patients.'

'The Phase 3 KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 trial demonstrates the ongoing commitment that Eisai and Merck share in addressing the unmet needs of people living with difficult-to-treat cancers, including advanced endometrial carcinoma,' said Corina Dutcus, M.D., Senior Vice President, Clinical Research, Oncology Business Group at Eisai Inc. 'The publication of this study in the New England Journal of Medicine reflects the importance of our joint research in exploring the potential of the KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA combination.'

The publication contains results for the all-comer population, including the mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) patient population for which KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA is not approved in the U.S.

Based on the results from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 trial, KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA has been approved in the U.S. for patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not microsatellite instability-high or dMMR, who have disease progression following prior systemic therapy in any setting and are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation. KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA is also approved in the European Union and Japan for certain patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma regardless of mismatch repair status. Merck and Eisai are studying the KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA combination through the LEAP (LEnvatinib And Pembrolizumab) clinical program in more than 10 different tumor types across more than 20 clinical trials.

About KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 Trial

KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03517449) is a Phase 3, multicenter, open-label, randomized, active-controlled study conducted in 827 patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma who had been previously treated with at least one prior platinum-based chemotherapy regimen in any setting, including in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. Participants may have received up to two platinum-containing therapies in total, as long as one was given in the neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment setting. The study excluded patients with endometrial sarcoma, carcinosarcoma, pre-existing Grade ?3 fistula, uncontrolled blood pressure (>150/90 mmHg), significant cardiovascular impairment or event within previous 12 months or patients who had active autoimmune disease or a medical condition that required immunosuppression. The primary efficacy outcome measures were OS and PFS as assessed by blinded independent central review (BICR) according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors Version (RECIST) v1.1. Secondary efficacy outcome measures included ORR as assessed by BICR.

Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive KEYTRUDA (200 mg intravenously every three weeks) plus LENVIMA (20 mg orally once daily) or investigator's choice, consisting of either doxorubicin (60 mg/m2?every three weeks)?or paclitaxel (80 mg/m2 given weekly, three weeks on/one week off). Treatment with KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA continued until RECIST v1.1-defined progression of disease as verified by BICR, unacceptable toxicity, or for KEYTRUDA, a maximum of 24 months. Administration of KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA was permitted beyond RECIST-defined disease progression if the treating investigator considered the patient to be deriving clinical benefit and the treatment was tolerated.

About Endometrial Carcinoma

Endometrial carcinoma begins in the inner lining of the uterus, which is known as the endometrium and is the most common type of cancer in the uterus. In 2020, it was estimated there were more than 417,000 new cases and more than 97,000 deaths from uterine body cancers worldwide (these estimates include both endometrial carcinomas and uterine sarcomas; more than 90% of uterine body cancers occur in the endometrium, so the actual numbers for endometrial carcinoma cases and deaths are slightly lower than these estimates). In the U.S., it is estimated there will be nearly 66,000 new cases of uterine body cancer and nearly 13,000 deaths from the disease in 2022. The five-year relative survival rate for metastatic endometrial carcinoma (stage IV) is estimated to be approximately 17%.

About KEYTRUDA?(pembrolizumab) Injection, 100 mg

KEYTRUDA is an anti-programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) therapy that works by increasing the ability of the body's 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 industry's largest immuno-oncology clinical research program. There are currently more than 1,600 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 patient's likelihood of benefitting from treatment with KEYTRUDA, including exploring several different biomarkers.

Selected KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) Indications in the U.S.

Melanoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of adult and pediatric (12 years and older) patients with stage IIB, IIC, or III melanoma following complete resection.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

KEYTRUDA, in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy, is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations.

KEYTRUDA, in combination with carboplatin and either paclitaxel or paclitaxel protein-bound, is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC.

KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with NSCLC expressing PD-L1 [tumor proportion score (TPS) ?1%] as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations, and is:stage III where patients are not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation, or metastatic.

KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is 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.

Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer

KEYTRUDA, in combination with platinum and fluorouracil (FU), is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic or with unresectable, recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic or with unresectable, recurrent HNSCC whose tumors express PD-L1 [combined positive score (CPS ?1)] as determined by an FDA-approved test.

KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic HNSCC with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.

Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL).

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of pediatric patients with refractory cHL, or cHL that has relapsed after 2 or more lines of therapy.

Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with refractory primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), or who have relapsed after 2 or more prior lines of therapy. KEYTRUDA is not recommended for treatment of patients with PMBCL who require urgent cytoreductive therapy.

Urothelial Carcinoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC): who are not eligible for any platinum-containing chemotherapy, or who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.

Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG)-unresponsive, high-risk, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) with carcinoma in situ (CIS) with or without papillary tumors who are ineligible for or have elected not to undergo cystectomy.

Microsatellite Instability-High or Mismatch Repair Deficient 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.

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.

Microsatellite Instability-High or Mismatch Repair Deficient Colorectal Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic MSI-H or dMMR colorectal cancer (CRC).

Gastric Cancer

KEYTRUDA, in combination with trastuzumab, fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy, is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma.

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.

Esophageal Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic esophageal or GEJ (tumors with epicenter 1 to 5 centimeters above the GEJ) carcinoma that is not amenable to surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation either: in combination with platinum- and fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy, or as a single agent after one or more prior lines of systemic therapy for patients with tumors of squamous cell histology that express PD-L1 (CPS ?10) as determined by an FDA-approved test.

Cervical Cancer

KEYTRUDA, in combination with chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, is indicated for the treatment of patients with persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS ?1) as determined by an FDA-approved test.

KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer with disease progression on or after chemotherapy whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS ?1) as determined by an FDA-approved test.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib. 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.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). 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.

Renal Cell Carcinoma

KEYTRUDA, in combination with axitinib, is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

KEYTRUDA, in combination with LENVIMA, is indicated for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced RCC.

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of patients with RCC at intermediate-high or high risk of recurrence following nephrectomy, or following nephrectomy and resection of metastatic lesions.

Endometrial Carcinoma

KEYTRUDA, in combination with LENVIMA, is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not MSI-H or dMMR, who have disease progression following prior systemic therapy in any setting and are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation.

Tumor Mutational Burden-High Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic tumor mutational burden-high (TMB-H) [?10 mutations/megabase] solid tumors, as determined by an FDA-approved test, that have progressed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options. 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 TMB-H central nervous system cancers have not been established.

Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) or locally advanced cSCC that is not curable by surgery or radiation.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with high-risk early-stage triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in combination with chemotherapy as neoadjuvant treatment, and then continued as a single agent as adjuvant treatment after surgery.

KEYTRUDA, in combination with chemotherapy, is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally recurrent unresectable or metastatic TNBC whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS ?10) as determined by an FDA-approved test.

Selected Important Safety Information for KEYTRUDA

Severe and Fatal Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions

KEYTRUDA is a monoclonal antibody that belongs to a class of drugs that bind to either the PD-1 or the PD-L1, blocking the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, thereby removing inhibition of the immune response, potentially breaking peripheral tolerance and inducing immune-mediated adverse reactions. Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue, can affect more than one body system simultaneously, and can occur at any time after starting treatment or after discontinuation of treatment. Important immune-mediated adverse reactions listed here may not include all possible severe and fatal immune-mediated adverse reactions.

Monitor patients closely for symptoms and signs that may be clinical manifestations of underlying immune-mediated adverse reactions. Early identification and management are essential to ensure safe use of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 treatments. Evaluate liver enzymes, creatinine, and thyroid function at baseline and periodically during treatment. For patients with TNBC treated with KEYTRUDA in the neoadjuvant setting, monitor blood cortisol at baseline, prior to surgery, and as clinically indicated. In cases of suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, initiate appropriate workup to exclude alternative etiologies, including infection. Institute medical management promptly, including specialty consultation as appropriate.

Withhold or permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA depending on severity of the immune-mediated adverse reaction. In general, if KEYTRUDA requires interruption or discontinuation, administer systemic corticosteroid therapy (1 to 2 mg/kg/day prednisone or equivalent) until improvement to Grade 1 or less. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Consider administration of other systemic immunosuppressants in patients whose adverse reactions are not controlled with corticosteroid therapy.

Immune-Mediated Pneumonitis

KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis. The incidence is higher in patients who have received prior thoracic radiation. Immune-mediated pneumonitis occurred in 3.4% (94/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including fatal (0.1%), Grade 4 (0.3%), Grade 3 (0.9%), and Grade 2 (1.3%) reactions. Systemic corticosteroids were required in 67% (63/94) of patients. Pneumonitis led to permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA in 1.3% (36) and withholding in 0.9% (26) of patients. All patients who were withheld reinitiated KEYTRUDA after symptom improvement; of these, 23% had recurrence. Pneumonitis resolved in 59% of the 94 patients.

Pneumonitis occurred in 8% (31/389) of adult patients with cHL receiving KEYTRUDA as a single agent, including Grades 3-4 in 2.3% of patients. Patients received high-dose corticosteroids for a median duration of 10 days (range: 2 days to 53 months). Pneumonitis rates were similar in patients with and without prior thoracic radiation. Pneumonitis led to discontinuation of KEYTRUDA in 5.4% (21) of patients. Of the patients who developed pneumonitis, 42% interrupted KEYTRUDA, 68% discontinued KEYTRUDA, and 77% had resolution.

Immune-Mediated Colitis

KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated colitis, which may present with diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus infection/reactivation has been reported in patients with corticosteroid-refractory immune-mediated colitis. In cases of corticosteroid-refractory colitis, consider repeating infectious workup to exclude alternative etiologies. Immune-mediated colitis occurred in 1.7% (48/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 4 (

(C) 2022 Electronic News Publishing, source ENP Newswire

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