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MERCK & CO., INC.

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Merck : LYNPARZA (olaparib) in combination with abiraterone significantly delayed disease progression in all-comers in PROpel Phase III trial in 1st-line metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

09/27/2021 | 07:44am EDT

AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., known as MSD outside the US and Canada, announced positive high-level results from the PROpel Phase III trial. LYNPARZA (olaparib) in combination with abiraterone demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) versus standard-of-care abiraterone as a 1st-line treatment for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with or without homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene mutations.

At a planned interim analysis, the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) concluded that the trial met the primary endpoint of rPFS in men with mCRPC who had not received treatment in the 1st-line setting including with new hormonal agents (NHAs) or chemotherapy.

The trial also showed a trend at this interim analysis towards improved overall survival (OS). However, the data are still immature and the trial will continue to assess OS as a key secondary endpoint. The safety and tolerability were consistent with the known profiles of each medicine.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer in men and despite an increase in the number of available treatments for men with mCRPC, five-year survival remains low.1

Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, said: 'Today, men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer have limited options in the 1st-line setting, and sadly often the disease progresses after initial treatment with current standards of care. These exciting results demonstrate the potential for LYNPARZA with abiraterone to become a new 1st-line option for patients regardless of their biomarker status and reach a broad population of patients living with this aggressive disease. We look forward to discussing the results with global health authorities as soon as possible.'

Roy Baynes, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, Merck, said: 'We are encouraged by the PROpel results and the clinical benefit LYNPARZA in combination with abiraterone demonstrated versus abiraterone alone as a 1st-line treatment option for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Today's results build on Merck and AstraZeneca's commitment to bring LYNPARZA earlier in lines of treatment and to more patients with advanced prostate cancer.'

The data will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

CONTRAINDICATIONS

There are no contraindications for LYNPARZA.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Acute Myeloid Leukemia (MDS/AML): Occurred in approximately 1.5% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA monotherapy, and the majority of events had a fatal outcome. The median duration of therapy in patients who developed MDS/AML was 2 years (range: 10 years). All of these patients had previous chemotherapy with platinum agents and/or other DNA-damaging agents, including radiotherapy.

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 0.8% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA monotherapy, 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.

Females

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.

Males

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.

Venous Thromboembolic Events: Including pulmonary embolism, occurred in 7% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who received LYNPARZA plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) compared to 3.1% of patients receiving enzalutamide or abiraterone plus ADT in the PROfound study. Patients receiving LYNPARZA and ADT had a 6% incidence of pulmonary embolism compared to 0.8% of patients treated with ADT plus either enzalutamide or abiraterone. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and treat as medically appropriate, which may include long-term anticoagulation as clinically indicated.

ADVERSE REACTIONS-First-Line Maintenance BRCAm Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ?10% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for SOLO-1 were: nausea (77%), fatigue (67%), abdominal pain (45%), vomiting (40%), anemia (38%), diarrhea (37%), constipation (28%), upper respiratory tract infection/influenza/nasopharyngitis/bronchitis (28%), dysgeusia (26%), decreased appetite (20%), dizziness (20%), neutropenia (17%), dyspepsia (17%), dyspnea (15%), leukopenia (13%), UTI (13%), thrombocytopenia (11%), and stomatitis (11%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ?25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for SOLO-1 were: decrease in hemoglobin (87%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (87%), decrease in leukocytes (70%), decrease in lymphocytes (67%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (51%), decrease in platelets (35%), and increase in serum creatinine (34%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS-First-Line Maintenance Advanced Ovarian Cancer in Combination with Bevacizumab

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ?10% of patients treated with LYNPARZA/bevacizumab compared to a ?5% frequency for placebo/bevacizumab in the first-line maintenance setting for PAOLA-1 were: nausea (53%), fatigue (including asthenia) (53%), anemia (41%), lymphopenia (24%), vomiting (22%) and leukopenia (18%). In addition, the most common adverse reactions (?10%) for patients receiving LYNPARZA/bevacizumab irrespective of the frequency compared with the placebo/bevacizumab arm were: diarrhea (18%), neutropenia (18%), urinary tract infection (15%) and headache (14%).

In addition, venous thromboembolic events occurred more commonly in patients receiving LYNPARZA/bevacizumab (5%) than in those receiving placebo/bevacizumab (1.9%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ?25% of patients for LYNPARZA in combination with bevacizumab in the first-line maintenance setting for PAOLA-1 were: decrease in hemoglobin (79%), decrease in lymphocytes (63%), increase in serum creatinine (61%), decrease in leukocytes (59%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (35%) and decrease in platelets (35%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS-Maintenance Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ?20% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the maintenance setting for SOLO-2 were: 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%), decreased appetite (21%) and dyspepsia (20%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ?25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the maintenance 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 REACTIONS-Advanced gBRCAm Ovarian Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ?20% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA for advanced gBRCAm ovarian cancer after 3 or more lines of chemotherapy (pooled from 6 studies) were: fatigue/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 for advanced gBRCAm ovarian cancer (pooled from 6 studies) were: decrease in hemoglobin (90%), mean corpuscular volume elevation (57%), decrease in lymphocytes (56%), increase in serum creatinine (30%), decrease in platelets (30%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (25%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS-gBRCAm, HER2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ?20% of patients in OlympiAD were: 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 in OlympiAD were: 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%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS-First-Line Maintenance gBRCAm Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ?10% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: fatigue (60%), nausea (45%), abdominal pain (34%), diarrhea (29%), anemia (27%), decreased appetite (25%), constipation (23%), vomiting (20%), back pain (19%), arthralgia (15%), rash (15%), thrombocytopenia (14%), dyspnea (13%), neutropenia (12%), nasopharyngitis (12%), dysgeusia (11%), and stomatitis (10%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ?25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: increase in serum creatinine (99%), decrease in hemoglobin (86%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (71%), decrease in lymphocytes (61%), decrease in platelets (56%), decrease in leukocytes (50%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (25%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS-HRR Gene-mutated Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ?10% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA for PROfound were: anemia (46%), fatigue (including asthenia) (41%), nausea (41%), decreased appetite (30%), diarrhea (21%), vomiting (18%), thrombocytopenia (12%), cough (11%), and dyspnea (10%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ?25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA for PROfound were: decrease in hemoglobin (98%), decrease in lymphocytes (62%), decrease in leukocytes (53%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (34%).

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Anticancer Agents: Clinical studies of LYNPARZA with other myelosuppressive anticancer agents, including DNA-damaging agents, indicate a potentiation and prolongation of myelosuppressive toxicity.

CYP3A Inhibitors: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitors when using LYNPARZA. If a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor must be coadministered, reduce the dose of LYNPARZA. Advise patients to avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, Seville oranges, and Seville orange juice during LYNPARZA treatment.

CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inducers when using 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 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 or moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification A and B). There are no data in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification C).

Renal Impairment: No dosage modification is recommended in patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr 51-80 mL/min estimated by Cockcroft-Gault). In patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr 31-50 mL/min), reduce the dose of LYNPARZA to 200 mg twice daily. There are no data in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease (CLcr ?30 mL/min).

INDICATIONS

LYNPARZA is a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor indicated:

First-Line Maintenance BRCAm Advanced Ovarian Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm or sBRCAm) advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

First-Line Maintenance HRD-Positive Advanced Ovarian Cancer in Combination with Bevacizumab

In combination with bevacizumab for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy and whose cancer is associated with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) positive status defined by either: a deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA mutation, and/or genomic instability

Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

Maintenance Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

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.

Advanced gBRCAm Ovarian Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-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.

gBRCAm, HER2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer who have 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 therapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

First-Line Maintenance gBRCAm Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma whose disease has not progressed on at least 16 weeks of a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy regimen. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

HRR Gene-mutated Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have progressed following prior treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Metastatic prostate cancer is associated with a significant mortality rate.2 Development of prostate cancer is often driven by male sex hormones called androgens, including testosterone.3 In patients with mCRPC, their prostate cancer grows and spreads to other parts of the body despite the use of androgen-deprivation therapy to block the action of male sex hormones.3 Approximately 10-20% of men with advanced prostate cancer will develop CRPC within five years, and at least 84% of these men will have metastases at the time of CRPC diagnosis.4 Of men with no metastases at CRPC diagnosis, 33% are likely to develop metastases within two years.4 Despite advances in treatment for men with mCRPC, five-year survival is low and extending survival remains a key treatment goal.4

PROpel

PROpel is a randomized, double-blind, multi-center Phase III trial testing the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of LYNPARZA versus placebo when given in addition to abiraterone in men with mCRPC who had not received prior chemotherapy or NHAs in the 1st-line setting. Men in both treatment groups will also receive either prednisone or prednisolone twice daily. The primary endpoint is rPFS and secondary endpoints include OS and time to first subsequent anticancer therapy or death.

The trial enrolled men with or without HRR gene mutations. They may have previously been treated with docetaxel at a prior stage of disease. The trial excluded men with prior treatment with abiraterone. Treatment with any other NHA must have been stopped one year or longer prior to randomization. Men must have had a performance status of 0-1 as defined by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) criteria and be a candidate for abiraterone treatment with documented evidence of progressive disease.

Preclinical trials in prostate cancer report a combined anti-tumor effect when PARP inhibitors and NHAs are administered together. PARP-1 is involved in the co-regulation of the androgen-receptor (AR) pathway, potentially leading to cooperation between PARP inhibitors and NHAs in blocking AR signalling.5 PARP inhibition plus androgen deprivation could significantly reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells independent of HRR gene status. Other trials revealed that treatment with NHAs inhibit the transcription of some HRR genes, therefore, inducing HRR deficiency and increased sensitivity to PARP inhibitors via non-genetic mechanisms. 6

LYNPARZA

LYNPARZA (olaparib) is a first-in-class PARP inhibitor and the first targeted treatment to block DNA damage response (DDR) in cells/tumors harboring a deficiency in homologous recombination repair (HRR), such as those with mutations in BRCA1 and/or BRCA2, or those where deficiency is induced by other agents (such as NHAs). Inhibition of PARP with LYNPARZA leads to the trapping of PARP bound to DNA single-strand breaks, stalling of replication forks, their collapse and the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and cancer cell death. LYNPARZA is being tested in a range of PARP-dependent tumor types with defects and dependencies in the DDR pathway.

LYNPARZA, which is being jointly developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Merck, has been used to treat over 40,000 patients worldwide. LYNPARZA has the broadest and most advanced clinical trial development program of any PARP inhibitor, and AstraZeneca and Merck are working together to understand how it may affect multiple PARP-dependent tumors as a monotherapy and in combination across multiple cancer types. LYNPARZA is the foundation of AstraZeneca's industry-leading portfolio of potential new medicines targeting DDR mechanisms in cancer cells.

The AstraZeneca and Merck strategic oncology collaboration

In July 2017, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, US, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, announced a global strategic oncology collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize LYNPARZA, the world's first PARP inhibitor, and selumetinib, a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) inhibitor, for multiple cancer types. Working together, the companies will develop LYNPARZA and selumetinib in combination with other potential new medicines and as monotherapies. Independently, the companies will develop LYNPARZA and selumetinib in combination with their respective PD-L1 and PD-1 medicines.

AstraZeneca in oncology

AstraZeneca is leading a revolution in oncology with the ambition to provide cures for cancer in every form, following the science to understand cancer and all its complexities to discover, develop and deliver life-changing medicines to patients.

The Company's focus is on some of the most challenging cancers. It is through persistent innovation that AstraZeneca has built one of the most diverse portfolios and pipelines in the industry, with the potential to catalyze changes in the practice of medicine and transform the patient experience.

AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer care and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.

Contact:

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T: +1 302 885 2677

T: +1 302 885 2677

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