Pharmaceutical

First Combination of Immunotherapy With Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Approved in Europe for Adult Patients With Advanced or Recurrent Endometrial Carcinoma With Disease Progression on or Following Prior Treatment With a Platinum-Containing Therapy in Any Setting and Who Are Not Candidates for Curative Surgery or Radiation Approval Based on KEYNOTE-775Study 309 Results Demonstrating Statistically Significant ...

First Combination of Immunotherapy With Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Approved in Europe for Adult Patients With Advanced or Recurrent Endometrial Carcinoma With Disease Progression on or Following Prior Treatment With a Platinum-Containing Therapy in Any Setting and Who Are Not Candidates for Curative Surgery or Radiation

Approval Based on KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 Results Demonstrating Statistically Significant Improvements in Overall Survival and Progression-Free Survival Compared With Chemotherapy

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Eisai today announced that the European Commission has approved the combination of KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, plus LENVIMA, the orally available multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor discovered by Eisai, for the treatment of advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma in adults who have disease progression on or following prior treatment with a platinum‑containing therapy in any setting and who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation. This marks the first combination of an immunotherapy with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved in Europe for these patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211129005163/en/

The approval is based on results from the pivotal Phase 3 KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 trial, in which KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA demonstrated statistically significant improvements in overall survival (OS), reducing the risk of death by 38% (HR=0.62 [95% CI, 0.51-0.75]; p

"This approval is welcome news for patients in Europe and is based on the first Phase 3 study evaluating an immunotherapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitor combination that showed superior overall survival for patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer compared to chemotherapy," said Dr. Gregory Lubiniecki, Vice President, Clinical Research, Merck Research Laboratories. "Regardless of mismatch repair status, patients whose endometrial cancer progresses or returns after prior platinum-containing systemic therapies now have a combination treatment option in KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA that demonstrated a 38% reduction in risk of death compared to chemotherapy alone."

"Until recently, women in Europe with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer have faced a difficult prognosis and had few treatment options," said Corina Dutcus, M.D., Vice President, Clinical Research, Oncology Business Group at Eisai Inc. "The approval of KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA in this setting reflects the progress that we have made in our collaboration with Merck in developing solutions for those diagnosed with difficult-to-treat cancers. We thank the patients, families and healthcare providers who made this milestone possible."

The safety of KEYTRUDA in combination with LENVIMA was evaluated in 530 patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma. The most common adverse reactions were hypertension (63%), diarrhea (57%), hypothyroidism (56%), nausea (51%), decreased appetite (47%), vomiting (39%), fatigue (38%), decreased weight (35%), arthralgia (33%), proteinuria (29%), constipation, headache and urinary tract infection (27% each), dysphonia (25%), abdominal pain, asthenia, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome and stomatitis (23% each), anemia (22%) and hypomagnesaemia (20%).

This approval allows marketing of KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA in all 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Northern Ireland. KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA is now approved by the European Commission for two different types of cancer: for advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma in adults who have disease progression on or following prior treatment with a platinum-containing therapy in any setting and who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation and for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

About KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 Trial
The approval was based on data from KEYNOTE-775/Study 309 (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03517449 ), 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 BP (>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 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/m 2 every three weeks) or paclitaxel (80 mg/m 2 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. A total of 121/411 (29%) of patients treated with KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA received continued study therapy beyond RECIST-defined disease progression. The median duration of the post-progression therapy was 2.8 months. Assessment of tumor status was performed every eight weeks.

About Endometrial Cancer
Endometrial cancer 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. Worldwide, it was estimated there were more than 417,000 new cases and more than 97,000 deaths from uterine body cancers in 2020 (these estimates include both endometrial cancers and uterine sarcomas; more than 90% of uterine body cancers occur in the endometrium, so the actual numbers for endometrial cancer cases and deaths are slightly lower than these estimates). In Europe, it is estimated there were more than 130,000 new cases of uterine body cancer and more than 29,000 deaths in 2020. The five-year relative survival rate for metastatic endometrial cancer (stage IV) is estimated to be approximately 17%.

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 patients with melanoma with involvement of lymph node(s) 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 renal cell carcinoma (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 (

Hepatotoxicity and Immune-Mediated Hepatitis
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Immune-mediated hepatitis occurred in 0.7% (19/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 4 (

KEYTRUDA With Axitinib
First-line treatment of advanced RCC in combination therapy with axitinib (KEYNOTE-426)
KEYTRUDA in combination with axitinib can cause hepatic toxicity. Monitor liver enzymes before initiation of and periodically throughout treatment. Consider monitoring more frequently as compared to when the drugs are administered as single agents. For elevated liver enzymes, interrupt KEYTRUDA and axitinib, and consider administering corticosteroids as needed. With the combination of KEYTRUDA and axitinib, Grades 3 and 4 increased alanine aminotransferase (20%) and increased aspartate aminotransferase (13%) were seen at a higher frequency compared to KEYTRUDA alone. Fifty-nine percent of the patients with increased ALT received systemic corticosteroids. In patients with ALT ≥3 times upper limit of normal (ULN) (Grades 2-4, n=116), ALT resolved to Grades 0-1 in 94%. Among the 92 patients who were rechallenged with either KEYTRUDA (n=3) or axitinib (n=34) administered as a single agent or with both (n=55), recurrence of ALT ≥3 times ULN was observed in 1 patient receiving KEYTRUDA, 16 patients receiving axitinib, and 24 patients receiving both. All patients with a recurrence of ALT ≥3 ULN subsequently recovered from the event.

Immune-Mediated Endocrinopathies
Adrenal Insufficiency
KEYTRUDA can cause primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency. For Grade 2 or higher, initiate symptomatic treatment, including hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Withhold KEYTRUDA depending on severity. Adrenal insufficiency occurred in 0.8% (22/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 4 (

Hypophysitis
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated hypophysitis. Hypophysitis can present with acute symptoms associated with mass effect such as headache, photophobia, or visual field defects. Hypophysitis can cause hypopituitarism. Initiate hormone replacement as indicated. Withhold or permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA depending on severity. Hypophysitis occurred in 0.6% (17/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 4 (

Thyroid Disorders
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated thyroid disorders. Thyroiditis can present with or without endocrinopathy. Hypothyroidism can follow hyperthyroidism. Initiate hormone replacement for hypothyroidism or institute medical management of hyperthyroidism as clinically indicated. Withhold or permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA depending on severity. Thyroiditis occurred in 0.6% (16/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.3%). None discontinued, but KEYTRUDA was withheld in

Hyperthyroidism occurred in 3.4% (96/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 3 (0.1%) and Grade 2 (0.8%). It led to permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA in

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (DM), Which Can Present With Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes. Initiate treatment with insulin as clinically indicated. Withhold KEYTRUDA depending on severity. Type 1 DM occurred in 0.2% (6/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA. It led to permanent discontinuation in

Immune-Mediated Nephritis With Renal Dysfunction
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Immune-mediated nephritis occurred in 0.3% (9/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 4 (

Immune-Mediated Dermatologic Adverse Reactions
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated rash or dermatitis. Exfoliative dermatitis, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms, and toxic epidermal necrolysis, has occurred with anti–PD-1/PD-L1 treatments. Topical emollients and/or topical corticosteroids may be adequate to treat mild to moderate nonexfoliative rashes. Withhold or permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA depending on severity. Immune-mediated dermatologic adverse reactions occurred in 1.4% (38/2799) of patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 3 (1%) and Grade 2 (0.1%) reactions. Systemic corticosteroids were required in 40% (15/38) of patients. These reactions led to permanent discontinuation in 0.1% (2) and withholding of KEYTRUDA in 0.6% (16) of patients. All patients who were withheld reinitiated KEYTRUDA after symptom improvement; of these, 6% had recurrence. The reactions resolved in 79% of the 38 patients.

Other Immune-Mediated Adverse Reactions
The following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred at an incidence of Cardiac/Vascular: Myocarditis, pericarditis, vasculitis; Nervous System: Meningitis, encephalitis, myelitis and demyelination, myasthenic syndrome/myasthenia gravis (including exacerbation), Guillain-Barré syndrome, nerve paresis, autoimmune neuropathy; Ocular: Uveitis, iritis and other ocular inflammatory toxicities can occur. Some cases can be associated with retinal detachment. Various grades of visual impairment, including blindness, can occur. If uveitis occurs in combination with other immune-mediated adverse reactions, consider a Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome, as this may require treatment with systemic steroids to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss; Gastrointestinal: Pancreatitis, to include increases in serum amylase and lipase levels, gastritis, duodenitis; Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue: Myositis/polymyositis, rhabdomyolysis (and associated sequelae, including renal failure), arthritis (1.5%), polymyalgia rheumatica; Endocrine: Hypoparathyroidism; Hematologic/Immune: Hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi lymphadenitis), sarcoidosis, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, solid organ transplant rejection.

Infusion-Related Reactions
KEYTRUDA can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions, including hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis, which have been reported in 0.2% of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA. Monitor for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions. Interrupt or slow the rate of infusion for Grade 1 or Grade 2 reactions. For Grade 3 or Grade 4 reactions, stop infusion and permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA.

Complications of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT)
Fatal and other serious complications can occur in patients who receive allogeneic HSCT before or after anti–PD-1/PD-L1 treatment. Transplant-related complications include hyperacute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), acute and chronic GVHD, hepatic veno-occlusive disease after reduced intensity conditioning, and steroid-requiring febrile syndrome (without an identified infectious cause). These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between anti–PD-1/PD-L1 treatment and allogeneic HSCT. Follow patients closely for evidence of these complications and intervene promptly. Consider the benefit vs risks of using anti–PD-1/PD-L1 treatments prior to or after an allogeneic HSCT.

Increased Mortality in Patients With Multiple Myeloma
In 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 an anti–PD-1/PD-L1 treatment in this combination is not recommended outside of controlled trials.

Embryofetal Toxicity
Based on its mechanism of action, KEYTRUDA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise women of this potential risk. In females of reproductive potential, verify pregnancy status prior to initiating KEYTRUDA and advise them to use effective contraception during treatment and for 4 months after the last dose.

Adverse Reactions
In KEYNOTE-006, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 9% of 555 patients with advanced melanoma; adverse reactions leading to permanent 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%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) with KEYTRUDA were fatigue (28%), diarrhea (26%), rash (24%), and nausea (21%).

In KEYNOTE-054, KEYTRUDA was permanently discontinued due to adverse reactions in 14% of 509 patients; the most common (≥1%) were pneumonitis (1.4%), colitis (1.2%), and diarrhea (1%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 25% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA. The most common adverse reaction (≥20%) with KEYTRUDA was diarrhea (28%).

In KEYNOTE-189, when KEYTRUDA was administered with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy in metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 20% of 405 patients. The most common adverse reactions resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA were pneumonitis (3%) and acute kidney injury (2%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) with KEYTRUDA were nausea (56%), fatigue (56%), constipation (35%), diarrhea (31%), decreased appetite (28%), rash (25%), vomiting (24%), cough (21%), dyspnea (21%), and pyrexia (20%).

In KEYNOTE-407, when KEYTRUDA was administered with carboplatin and either paclitaxel or paclitaxel protein-bound in metastatic squamous NSCLC, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 15% of 101 patients. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in at least 2% of patients were febrile neutropenia, pneumonia, and urinary tract infection. Adverse reactions observed in KEYNOTE-407 were similar to those observed in KEYNOTE-189 with the exception that increased incidences of alopecia (47% vs 36%) and peripheral neuropathy (31% vs 25%) were observed in the KEYTRUDA and chemotherapy arm compared to the placebo and chemotherapy arm in KEYNOTE-407.

In KEYNOTE-042, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 19% of 636 patients with advanced NSCLC; the most common were pneumonitis (3%), death due to unknown cause (1.6%), and pneumonia (1.4%). The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in at least 2% of patients were pneumonia (7%), pneumonitis (3.9%), pulmonary embolism (2.4%), and pleural effusion (2.2%). The most common adverse reaction (≥20%) was fatigue (25%).

In KEYNOTE-010, KEYTRUDA monotherapy was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8% of 682 patients with metastatic NSCLC; the most common was pneumonitis (1.8%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were decreased appetite (25%), fatigue (25%), dyspnea (23%), and nausea (20%).

In KEYNOTE-048, KEYTRUDA monotherapy was discontinued due to adverse events in 12% of 300 patients with HNSCC; the most common adverse reactions leading to permanent discontinuation were sepsis (1.7%) and pneumonia (1.3%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were fatigue (33%), constipation (20%), and rash (20%).

In KEYNOTE-048, when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with platinum (cisplatin or carboplatin) and FU chemotherapy, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 16% of 276 patients with HNSCC. The most common adverse reactions resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA were pneumonia (2.5%), pneumonitis (1.8%), and septic shock (1.4%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were nausea (51%), fatigue (49%), constipation (37%), vomiting (32%), mucosal inflammation (31%), diarrhea (29%), decreased appetite (29%), stomatitis (26%), and cough (22%).

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 (≥20%) 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 who received KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy, with the exception of increased incidences of facial edema and new or worsening hypothyroidism.

In KEYNOTE-204, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 14% of 148 patients with cHL. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 30% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA; those ≥1% were pneumonitis, pneumonia, pyrexia, myocarditis, acute kidney injury, febrile neutropenia, and sepsis. Three patients died from causes other than disease progression: 2 from complications after allogeneic HSCT and 1 from unknown cause. The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were upper respiratory tract infection (41%), musculoskeletal pain (32%), diarrhea (22%), and pyrexia, fatigue, rash, and cough (20% each).

In KEYNOTE-087, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 5% of 210 patients with cHL. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 16% of patients; those ≥1% were pneumonia, pneumonitis, pyrexia, dyspnea, GVHD, and herpes zoster. Two patients died from causes other than disease progression: 1 from GVHD after subsequent allogeneic HSCT and 1 from septic shock. The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were fatigue (26%), pyrexia (24%), cough (24%), musculoskeletal pain (21%), diarrhea (20%), and rash (20%).

In KEYNOTE-170, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8% of 53 patients with PMBCL. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 26% of patients and included arrhythmia (4%), cardiac tamponade (2%), myocardial infarction (2%), pericardial effusion (2%), and pericarditis (2%). Six (11%) patients died within 30 days of start of treatment. The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were musculoskeletal pain (30%), upper respiratory tract infection and pyrexia (28% each), cough (26%), fatigue (23%), and dyspnea (21%).

In KEYNOTE-052, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 11% of 370 patients with locally advanced or mUC. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 42% of patients; those ≥2% were urinary tract infection, hematuria, acute kidney injury, pneumonia, and urosepsis. The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were fatigue (38%), musculoskeletal pain (24%), decreased appetite (22%), constipation (21%), rash (21%), and diarrhea (20%).

In KEYNOTE-045, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8% of 266 patients with locally advanced or mUC. The most common adverse reaction resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA was pneumonitis (1.9%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 39% of KEYTRUDA-treated patients; those ≥2% were urinary tract infection, pneumonia, anemia, and pneumonitis. The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients who received KEYTRUDA were fatigue (38%), musculoskeletal pain (32%), pruritus (23%), decreased appetite (21%), nausea (21%), and rash (20%).

In KEYNOTE-057, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 11% of 148 patients with high-risk NMIBC. The most common adverse reaction resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA was pneumonitis (1.4%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 28% of patients; those ≥2% were pneumonia (3%), cardiac ischemia (2%), colitis (2%), pulmonary embolism (2%), sepsis (2%), and urinary tract infection (2%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were fatigue (29%), diarrhea (24%), and rash (24%).

Adverse reactions occurring in patients with MSI-H or dMMR CRC were similar to those occurring in patients with melanoma or NSCLC who received KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy.

In KEYNOTE-811, when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with trastuzumab, fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 6% of 217 patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic HER2+ gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma. The most common adverse reaction resulting in permanent discontinuation was pneumonitis (1.4%). In the KEYTRUDA arm versus placebo, there was a difference of ≥5% incidence between patients treated with KEYTRUDA versus standard of care for diarrhea (53% vs 44%) and nausea (49% vs 44%).

The most common adverse reactions (reported in ≥20%) in patients receiving KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy were fatigue/asthenia, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, decreased appetite, rash, vomiting, cough, dyspnea, pyrexia, alopecia, peripheral neuropathy, mucosal inflammation, stomatitis, headache, weight loss, abdominal pain, arthralgia, myalgia, and insomnia.

In KEYNOTE-590, when KEYTRUDA was administered with cisplatin and fluorouracil to patients with metastatic or locally advanced esophageal or GEJ (tumors with epicenter 1 to 5 centimeters above the GEJ) carcinoma who were not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 15% of 370 patients. The most common adverse reactions resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA (≥1%) were pneumonitis (1.6%), acute kidney injury (1.1%), and pneumonia (1.1%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) with KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy were nausea (67%), fatigue (57%), decreased appetite (44%), constipation (40%), diarrhea (36%), vomiting (34%), stomatitis (27%), and weight loss (24%).

Adverse reactions occurring in patients with esophageal cancer who received KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy were similar to those occurring in patients with melanoma or NSCLC who received KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy.

In KEYNOTE-826, when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and carboplatin, with or without bevacizumab (n=307), to patients with persistent, recurrent, or first-line metastatic cervical cancer regardless of tumor PD-L1 expression who had not been treated with chemotherapy except when used concurrently as a radio-sensitizing agent, fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.6% of patients, including 3 cases of hemorrhage, 2 cases each of sepsis and due to unknown causes, and 1 case each of acute myocardial infarction, autoimmune encephalitis, cardiac arrest, cerebrovascular accident, femur fracture with perioperative pulmonary embolus, intestinal perforation, and pelvic infection. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 50% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab; those ≥3% were febrile neutropenia (6.8%), urinary tract infection (5.2%), anemia (4.6%), and acute kidney injury and sepsis (3.3% each).

KEYTRUDA was discontinued in 15% of patients due to adverse reactions. The most common adverse reaction resulting in permanent discontinuation (≥1%) was colitis (1%).

For patients treated with KEYTRUDA, chemotherapy, and bevacizumab (n=196), the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were peripheral neuropathy (62%), alopecia (58%), anemia (55%), fatigue/asthenia (53%), nausea and neutropenia (41% each), diarrhea (39%), hypertension and thrombocytopenia (35% each), constipation and arthralgia (31% each), vomiting (30%), urinary tract infection (27%), rash (26%), leukopenia (24%), hypothyroidism (22%), and decreased appetite (21%).

For patients treated with KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were peripheral neuropathy (58%), alopecia (56%), fatigue (47%), nausea (40%), diarrhea (36%), constipation (28%), arthralgia (27%), vomiting (26%), hypertension and urinary tract infection (24% each), and rash (22%).

In KEYNOTE-158, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8% of 98 patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 39% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA; the most frequent included anemia (7%), fistula, hemorrhage, and infections [except urinary tract infections] (4.1% each). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were fatigue (43%), musculoskeletal pain (27%), diarrhea (23%), pain and abdominal pain (22% each), and decreased appetite (21%).

Adverse reactions occurring in patients with HCC were generally similar to those in patients with melanoma or NSCLC who received KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy, with the exception of increased incidences of ascites (8% Grades 3-4) and immune-mediated hepatitis (2.9%). Laboratory abnormalities (Grades 3-4) that occurred at a higher incidence were elevated AST (20%), ALT (9%), and hyperbilirubinemia (10%).

Among the 50 patients with MCC enrolled in study KEYNOTE-017, adverse reactions occurring in patients with MCC were generally similar to those occurring in patients with melanoma or NSCLC who received KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy. Laboratory abnormalities (Grades 3-4) that occurred at a higher incidence were elevated AST (11%) and hyperglycemia (19%).

In KEYNOTE-426, when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with axitinib, fatal adverse reactions occurred in 3.3% of 429 patients. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 40% of patients, the most frequent (≥1%) were hepatotoxicity (7%), diarrhea (4.2%), acute kidney injury (2.3%), dehydration (1%), and pneumonitis (1%). Permanent discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 31% of patients; KEYTRUDA only (13%), axitinib only (13%), and the combination (8%); the most common were hepatotoxicity (13%), diarrhea/colitis (1.9%), acute kidney injury (1.6%), and cerebrovascular accident (1.2%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were diarrhea (56%), fatigue/asthenia (52%), hypertension (48%), hepatotoxicity (39%), hypothyroidism (35%), decreased appetite (30%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (28%), nausea (28%), stomatitis/mucosal inflammation (27%), dysphonia (25%), rash (25%), cough (21%), and constipation (21%).

In KEYNOTE-581, when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with LENVIMA to patients with advanced renal carcinoma (n=352), fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.3% of patients. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 51% of patients, the most common (≥2%) were hemorrhagic events (5%), diarrhea (4%), hypertension (3%), myocardial infarction, pneumonitis, and vomiting (3% each), acute kidney injury, adrenal insufficiency, dyspnea, and pneumonia (2% each).

Permanent discontinuation of either of KEYTRUDA, LENVIMA, or both due to an adverse reaction occurred in 37% of patients; 29% KEYTRUDA only, 26% lenvatinib only, and 13% both. The most common adverse reactions (≥2%) resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA, LENVIMA, or the combination were pneumonitis (3%), myocardial infarction, hepatotoxicity, acute kidney injury, and rash (3% each), and diarrhea (2%).

The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed with KEYTRUDA in combination with LENVIMA were fatigue (63%), diarrhea (62%), musculoskeletal disorders (58%), hypothyroidism (57%), hypertension (56%), stomatitis (43%), decreased appetite (41%), rash (37%), nausea (36%), weight loss, dysphonia and proteinuria (30% each), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (29%), abdominal pain and hemorrhagic events (27% each), vomiting (26%), constipation and hepatotoxicity (25% each), headache (23%), and acute kidney injury (21%).

In KEYNOTE-564, when KEYTRUDA was administered as a single agent for the adjuvant treatment of renal cell carcinoma, serious adverse reactions occurred in 20% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA; the serious adverse reactions (≥1%) were acute kidney injury, adrenal insufficiency, pneumonia, colitis, and diabetic ketoacidosis (1% each). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 0.2% including 1 case of pneumonia. Discontinuation of KEYTRUDA due to adverse reactions occurred in 21% of 488 patients; the most common (≥1%) were increased ALT (1.6%), colitis (1%), and adrenal insufficiency (1%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) were musculoskeletal pain (41%), fatigue (40%), rash (30%), diarrhea (27%), pruritus (23%), and hypothyroidism (21%).

In KEYNOTE-775, when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with LENVIMA to patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that were not MSI-H or dMMR (n=342), fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.7% of patients. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 50% of these patients; the most common (≥3%) were hypertension (4.4%) and urinary tract infections (3.2%).

Discontinuation of KEYTRUDA, due to an adverse reaction occurred in 15% of these patients. The most common adverse reaction leading to discontinuation of KEYTRUDA (≥1%) was increased ALT (1.2%).

The most common adverse reactions for KEYTRUDA in combination with LENVIMA (reported in ≥20% patients) were hypothyroidism and hypertension (67% each), fatigue (58%), diarrhea (55%), musculoskeletal disorders (53%), nausea (49%), decreased appetite (44%), vomiting (37%), stomatitis (35%), abdominal pain and weight loss (34% each), urinary tract infections (31%), proteinuria (29%), constipation (27%), headache (26%), hemorrhagic events (25%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (23%), dysphonia (22%), and rash (20%).

Adverse reactions occurring in patients with TMB-H cancer were similar to those occurring in patients with other solid tumors who received KEYTRUDA as a single agent.

Adverse reactions occurring in patients with recurrent or metastatic cSCC or locally advanced cSCC were similar to those occurring in patients with melanoma or NSCLC who received KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy.

In KEYNOTE-522, when KEYTRUDA was administered with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel followed by doxorubicin or epirubicin and cyclophosphamide) followed by surgery and continued adjuvant treatment with KEYTRUDA as a single agent (n=778) to patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated, high-risk early-stage TNBC, fatal adverse reactions occurred in 0.9% of patients, including 1 each of adrenal crisis, autoimmune encephalitis, hepatitis, pneumonia, pneumonitis, pulmonary embolism, and sepsis in association with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and myocardial infarction. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 44% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA; those ≥2% were febrile neutropenia (15%), pyrexia (3.7%), anemia (2.6%), and neutropenia (2.2%). KEYTRUDA was discontinued in 20% of patients due to adverse reactions. The most common reactions (≥1%) resulting in permanent discontinuation were increased ALT (2.7%), increased AST (1.5%), and rash (1%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients receiving KEYTRUDA were fatigue (70%), nausea (67%), alopecia (61%), rash (52%), constipation (42%), diarrhea and peripheral neuropathy (41% each), stomatitis (34%), vomiting (31%), headache (30%), arthralgia (29%), pyrexia (28%), cough (26%), abdominal pain (24%), decreased appetite (23%), insomnia (21%), and myalgia (20%).

In KEYNOTE-355, when KEYTRUDA and chemotherapy (paclitaxel, paclitaxel protein-bound, or gemcitabine and carboplatin) were administered to patients with locally recurrent unresectable or metastatic TNBC who had not been previously treated with chemotherapy in the metastatic setting (n=596), fatal adverse reactions occurred in 2.5% of patients, including cardio-respiratory arrest (0.7%) and septic shock (0.3%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 30% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy; the serious reactions in ≥2% were pneumonia (2.9%), anemia (2.2%), and thrombocytopenia (2%). KEYTRUDA was discontinued in 11% of patients due to adverse reactions. The most common reactions resulting in permanent discontinuation (≥1%) were increased ALT (2.2%), increased AST (1.5%), and pneumonitis (1.2%). The most common adverse reactions (≥20%) in patients receiving KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy were fatigue (48%), nausea (44%), alopecia (34%), diarrhea and constipation (28% each), vomiting and rash (26% each), cough (23%), decreased appetite (21%), and headache (20%).

Lactation
Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed children, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment and for 4 months after the final dose.

Pediatric Use
In KEYNOTE-051, 161 pediatric patients (62 pediatric patients aged 6 months to younger than 12 years and 99 pediatric patients aged 12 years to 17 years) were administered KEYTRUDA 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. The median duration of exposure was 2.1 months (range: 1 day to 24 months).

Adverse reactions that occurred at a ≥10% higher rate in pediatric patients when compared to adults were pyrexia (33%), vomiting (30%), leukopenia (30%), upper respiratory tract infection (29%), neutropenia (26%), headache (25%), and Grade 3 anemia (17%).

Please see Prescribing Information for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_pi.pdf and Medication Guide for KEYTRUDA at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_mg.pdf .

About LENVIMA ® (lenvatinib); available as 10 mg and 4 mg capsules
LENVIMA, discovered and developed by Eisai, is a multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor that inhibits the kinase activities of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors VEGFR1 (FLT1), VEGFR2 (KDR), and VEGFR3 (FLT4). LENVIMA inhibits other kinases that have been implicated in pathogenic angiogenesis, tumor growth, and cancer progression in addition to their normal cellular functions, including fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors FGFR1-4, the platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα), KIT, and RET. The combination of LENVIMA and everolimus showed increased anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity as demonstrated by decreased human endothelial cell proliferation, tube formation, and VEGF signaling in vitro and tumor volume in mouse xenograft models of human renal cell cancer greater than each drug alone. In syngeneic mouse tumor models, the combination of lenvatinib with an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody decreased tumor-associated macrophages, increased activated cytotoxic T cells, and demonstrated greater antitumor activity compared to either treatment alone.

LENVIMA ® (lenvatinib) Indications in the U.S.

  • For the treatment of patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive, radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC)
  • In combination with KEYTRUDA, for the first-line treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
  • In combination with everolimus, for the treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following one prior anti-angiogenic therapy
  • For the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
  • In combination with KEYTRUDA, for the treatment of patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma (EC) that is not microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR), who have disease progression following prior systemic therapy in any setting and are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation.

Selected Safety Information for LENVIMA
Warnings and Precautions
Hypertension.
In DTC (differentiated thyroid cancer), hypertension occurred in 73% of patients on LENVIMA (44% grade 3-4). In RCC (renal cell carcinoma), hypertension occurred in 42% of patients on LENVIMA + everolimus (13% grade 3). Systolic blood pressure ≥160 mmHg occurred in 29% of patients, and 21% had diastolic blood pressure ≥100 mmHg. In HCC (hepatocellular carcinoma), hypertension occurred in 45% of LENVIMA-treated patients (24% grade 3). Grade 4 hypertension was not reported in HCC.

Serious complications of poorly controlled hypertension have been reported. Control blood pressure prior to initiation. Monitor blood pressure after 1 week, then every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and then at least monthly thereafter during treatment. Withhold and resume at reduced dose when hypertension is controlled or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Cardiac Dysfunction. Serious and fatal cardiac dysfunction can occur with LENVIMA. Across clinical trials in 799 patients with DTC, RCC, and HCC, grade 3 or higher cardiac dysfunction occurred in 3% of LENVIMA-treated patients. Monitor for clinical symptoms or signs of cardiac dysfunction. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Arterial Thromboembolic Events. Among patients receiving LENVIMA or LENVIMA + everolimus, arterial thromboembolic events of any severity occurred in 2% of patients in RCC and HCC and 5% in DTC. Grade 3-5 arterial thromboembolic events ranged from 2% to 3% across all clinical trials.

Among patients receiving LENVIMA with pembrolizumab, arterial thrombotic events of any severity occurred in 5% of patients in CLEAR, including myocardial infarction (3.4%) and cerebrovascular accident (2.3%).

Permanently discontinue following an arterial thrombotic event. The safety of resuming after an arterial thromboembolic event has not been established, and LENVIMA has not been studied in patients who have had an arterial thromboembolic event within the previous 6 months.

Hepatotoxicity. Across clinical studies enrolling 1327 LENVIMA-treated patients with malignancies other than HCC, serious hepatic adverse reactions occurred in 1.4% of patients. Fatal events, including hepatic failure, acute hepatitis and hepatorenal syndrome, occurred in 0.5% of patients. In HCC, hepatic encephalopathy occurred in 8% of LENVIMA-treated patients (5% grade 3-5). Grade 3-5 hepatic failure occurred in 3% of LENVIMA-treated patients; 2% of patients discontinued LENVIMA due to hepatic encephalopathy, and 1% discontinued due to hepatic failure.

Monitor liver function prior to initiation, then every 2 weeks for the first 2 months, and at least monthly thereafter during treatment. Monitor patients with HCC closely for signs of hepatic failure, including hepatic encephalopathy. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Renal Failure or Impairment. Serious including fatal renal failure or impairment can occur with LENVIMA. Renal impairment was reported in 14% and 7% of LENVIMA-treated patients in DTC and HCC, respectively. Grade 3-5 renal failure or impairment occurred in 3% of patients with DTC and 2% of patients with HCC, including 1 fatal event in each study. In RCC, renal impairment or renal failure was reported in 18% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients (10% grade 3).

Initiate prompt management of diarrhea or dehydration/hypovolemia. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue for renal failure or impairment based on severity.

Proteinuria. In DTC and HCC, proteinuria was reported in 34% and 26% of LENVIMA-treated patients, respectively. Grade 3 proteinuria occurred in 11% and 6% in DTC and HCC, respectively. In RCC, proteinuria occurred in 31% of patients receiving LENVIMA + everolimus (8% grade 3). Monitor for proteinuria prior to initiation and periodically during treatment. If urine dipstick proteinuria ≥2+ is detected, obtain a 24-hour urine protein. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Diarrhea. Of the 737 LENVIMA-treated patients in DTC and HCC, diarrhea occurred in 49% (6% grade 3). In RCC, diarrhea occurred in 81% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients (19% grade 3). Diarrhea was the most frequent cause of dose interruption/reduction, and diarrhea recurred despite dose reduction. Promptly initiate management of diarrhea. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Fistula Formation and Gastrointestinal Perforation. Of the 799 patients treated with LENVIMA or LENVIMA + everolimus in DTC, RCC, and HCC, fistula or gastrointestinal perforation occurred in 2%. Permanently discontinue in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation of any severity or grade 3-4 fistula.

QT Interval Prolongation. In DTC, QT/QTc interval prolongation occurred in 9% of LENVIMA-treated patients and QT interval prolongation of >500 ms occurred in 2%. In RCC, QTc interval increases of >60 ms occurred in 11% of patients receiving LENVIMA + everolimus and QTc interval >500 ms occurred in 6%. In HCC, QTc interval increases of >60 ms occurred in 8% of LENVIMA-treated patients and QTc interval >500 ms occurred in 2%.

Monitor and correct electrolyte abnormalities at baseline and periodically during treatment. Monitor electrocardiograms in patients with congenital long QT syndrome, congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or those who are taking drugs known to prolong the QT interval, including Class Ia and III antiarrhythmics. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery based on severity.

Hypocalcemia. In DTC, grade 3-4 hypocalcemia occurred in 9% of LENVIMA-treated patients. In 65% of cases, hypocalcemia improved or resolved following calcium supplementation with or without dose interruption or dose reduction. In RCC, grade 3-4 hypocalcemia occurred in 6% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients. In HCC, grade 3 hypocalcemia occurred in 0.8% of LENVIMA-treated patients. Monitor blood calcium levels at least monthly and replace calcium as necessary during treatment. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue depending on severity.

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS). Across clinical studies of 1823 patients who received LENVIMA as a single agent, RPLS occurred in 0.3%. Confirm diagnosis of RPLS with MRI. Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue depending on severity and persistence of neurologic symptoms.

Hemorrhagic Events. Serious including fatal hemorrhagic events can occur with LENVIMA. In DTC, RCC, and HCC clinical trials, hemorrhagic events, of any grade, occurred in 29% of the 799 patients treated with LENVIMA as a single agent or in combination with everolimus. The most frequently reported hemorrhagic events (all grades and occurring in at least 5% of patients) were epistaxis and hematuria. In DTC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 2% of LENVIMA-treated patients, including 1 fatal intracranial hemorrhage among 16 patients who received LENVIMA and had CNS metastases at baseline. In RCC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 8% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients, including 1 fatal cerebral hemorrhage. In HCC, grade 3-5 hemorrhage occurred in 5% of LENVIMA-treated patients, including 7 fatal hemorrhagic events. Serious tumor-related bleeds, including fatal hemorrhagic events, occurred in LENVIMA-treated patients in clinical trials and in the postmarketing setting. In postmarketing surveillance, serious and fatal carotid artery hemorrhages were seen more frequently in patients with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) than other tumors. Safety and effectiveness of LENVIMA in patients with ATC have not been demonstrated in clinical trials.

Consider the risk of severe or fatal hemorrhage associated with tumor invasion or infiltration of major blood vessels (eg, carotid artery). Withhold and resume at reduced dose upon recovery or permanently discontinue based on severity.

Impairment of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Suppression/Thyroid Dysfunction. LENVIMA impairs exogenous thyroid suppression. In DTC, 88% of patients had baseline thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level ≤0.5 mU/L. In patients with normal TSH at baseline, elevation of TSH level >0.5 mU/L was observed post baseline in 57% of LENVIMA-treated patients. In RCC and HCC, grade 1 or 2 hypothyroidism occurred in 24% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients and 21% of LENVIMA-treated patients, respectively. In patients with normal or low TSH at baseline, elevation of TSH was observed post baseline in 70% of LENVIMA-treated patients in HCC and 60% of LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients in RCC.

Monitor thyroid function prior to initiation and at least monthly during treatment. Treat hypothyroidism according to standard medical practice.

Impaired Wound Healing. Impaired wound healing has been reported in patients who received LENVIMA. Withhold LENVIMA for at least 1 week prior to elective surgery. Do not administer for at least 2 weeks following major surgery and until adequate wound healing. The safety of resumption of LENVIMA after resolution of wound healing complications has not been established.

Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (ONJ). ONJ has been reported in patients receiving LENVIMA. Concomitant exposure to other risk factors, such as bisphosphonates, denosumab, dental disease, or invasive dental procedures, may increase the risk of ONJ.

Perform an oral examination prior to treatment with LENVIMA and periodically during LENVIMA treatment. Advise patients regarding good oral hygiene practices and to consider having preventive dentistry performed prior to treatment with LENVIMA and throughout treatment with LENVIMA.

Avoid invasive dental procedures, if possible, while on LENVIMA treatment, particularly in patients at higher risk. Withhold LENVIMA for at least 1 week prior to scheduled dental surgery or invasive dental procedures, if possible. For patients requiring invasive dental procedures, discontinuation of bisphosphonate treatment may reduce the risk of ONJ.

Withhold LENVIMA if ONJ develops and restart based on clinical judgement of adequate resolution.

Embryo‐Fetal Toxicity. Based on its mechanism of action and data from animal reproduction studies, LENVIMA can cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. In animal reproduction studies, oral administration of lenvatinib during organogenesis at doses below the recommended clinical doses resulted in embryotoxicity, fetotoxicity, and teratogenicity in rats and rabbits. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus and advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with LENVIMA and for at least 30 days after the last dose.

Adverse Reactions
In DTC, the most common adverse reactions (≥30%) observed in LENVIMA-treated patients were hypertension (73%), fatigue (67%), diarrhea (67%), arthralgia/myalgia (62%), decreased appetite (54%), decreased weight (51%), nausea (47%), stomatitis (41%), headache (38%), vomiting (36%), proteinuria (34%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (32%), abdominal pain (31%), and dysphonia (31%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were pneumonia (4%), hypertension (3%), and dehydration (3%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions in 68% of LENVIMA-treated patients; 18% discontinued LENVIMA. The most common adverse reactions (≥10%) resulting in dose reductions were hypertension (13%), proteinuria (11%), decreased appetite (10%), and diarrhea (10%); the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) resulting in discontinuation of LENVIMA were hypertension (1%) and asthenia (1%).

In RCC, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed in LENVIMA + pembrolizumab-treated patients were fatigue (63%), diarrhea (62%), musculoskeletal pain (58%), hypothyroidism (57%), hypertension (56%), stomatitis (43%), decreased appetite (41%), rash (37%), nausea (36%), decreased weight (30%), dysphonia (30%), proteinuria (30%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (29%), abdominal pain (27%), hemorrhagic events (27%), vomiting (26%), constipation (25%), hepatotoxicity (25%), headache (23%), and acute kidney injury (21%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were hemorrhagic events (5%), diarrhea (4%), hypertension (3%), myocardial infarction (3%), pneumonitis (3%), vomiting (3%), acute kidney injury (2%), adrenal insufficiency (2%), dyspnea (2%), and pneumonia (2%).

Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.3% of patients receiving LENVIMA in combination with pembrolizumab, including cardio-respiratory arrest (0.9%), sepsis (0.9%), and one case (0.3%) each of arrhythmia, autoimmune hepatitis, dyspnea, hypertensive crisis, increased blood creatinine, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, myasthenic syndrome, myocarditis, nephritis, pneumonitis, ruptured aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 51% of patients receiving LENVIMA and pembrolizumab. Serious adverse reactions in ≥2% of patients were hemorrhagic events (5%), diarrhea (4%), hypertension (3%), myocardial infarction (3%), pneumonitis (3%), vomiting (3%), acute kidney injury (2%), adrenal insufficiency (2%), dyspnea (2%), and pneumonia (2%).

Permanent discontinuation of LENVIMA, pembrolizumab, or both due to an adverse reaction occurred in 37% of patients; 26% LENVIMA only, 29% pembrolizumab only, and 13% both drugs. The most common adverse reactions (≥2%) leading to permanent discontinuation of LENVIMA, pembrolizumab, or both were pneumonitis (3%), myocardial infarction (3%), hepatotoxicity (3%), acute kidney injury (3%), rash (3%), and diarrhea (2%).

Dose interruptions of LENVIMA, pembrolizumab, or both due to an adverse reaction occurred in 78% of patients receiving LENVIMA in combination with pembrolizumab. LENVIMA was interrupted in 73% of patients and both drugs were interrupted in 39% of patients. LENVIMA was dose reduced in 69% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reduction or interruption of LENVIMA were diarrhea (26%), fatigue (18%), hypertension (17%), proteinuria (13%), decreased appetite (12%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (11%), nausea (9%), stomatitis (9%), musculoskeletal pain (8%), rash (8%), increased lipase (7%), abdominal pain (6%), and vomiting (6%), increased ALT (5%), and increased amylase (5%).

In RCC, the most common adverse reactions (≥30%) observed in LENVIMA + everolimus–treated patients were diarrhea (81%), fatigue (73%), arthralgia/myalgia (55%), decreased appetite (53%), vomiting (48%), nausea (45%), stomatitis (44%), hypertension (42%), peripheral edema (42%), cough (37%), abdominal pain (37%), dyspnea (35%), rash (35%), decreased weight (34%), hemorrhagic events (32%), and proteinuria (31%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥5%) were renal failure (11%), dehydration (10%), anemia (6%), thrombocytopenia (5%), diarrhea (5%), vomiting (5%), and dyspnea (5%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 89% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reductions were diarrhea (21%), fatigue (8%), thrombocytopenia (6%), vomiting (6%), nausea (5%), and proteinuria (5%). Treatment discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 29% of patients.

In HCC, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed in LENVIMA-treated patients were hypertension (45%), fatigue (44%), diarrhea (39%), decreased appetite (34%), arthralgia/myalgia (31%), decreased weight (31%), abdominal pain (30%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (27%), proteinuria (26%), dysphonia (24%), hemorrhagic events (23%), hypothyroidism (21%), and nausea (20%). The most common serious adverse reactions (≥2%) were hepatic encephalopathy (5%), hepatic failure (3%), ascites (3%), and decreased appetite (2%). Adverse reactions led to dose reductions or interruption in 62% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) resulting in dose reductions were fatigue (9%), decreased appetite (8%), diarrhea (8%), proteinuria (7%), hypertension (6%), and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (5%). Treatment discontinuation due to an adverse reaction occurred in 20% of patients. The most common adverse reactions (≥1%) resulting in discontinuation of LENVIMA were fatigue (1%), hepatic encephalopathy (2%), hyperbilirubinemia (1%), and hepatic failure (1%).

In EC, the most common adverse reactions (≥20%) observed in LENVIMA + pembrolizumab-treated patients were hypothyroidism (67%), hypertension (67%), fatigue (58%), diarrhea (55%), musculoskeletal disorders (53%), nausea (49%), decreased appetite (44%), vomiting (37%), stomatitis (35%), decreased weight (34%), abdominal pain (34%), urinary tract infection (31%), proteinuria (29%), constipation (27%), headache (26%), hemorrhagic events (25%), palmar‐plantar erythrodysesthesia (23%), dysphonia (22%), and rash (20%).

Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 4.7% of those treated with LENVIMA and pembrolizumab, including 2 cases of pneumonia, and 1 case of the following: acute kidney injury, acute myocardial infarction, colitis, decreased appetite, intestinal perforation, lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage, malignant gastrointestinal obstruction, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, myelodysplastic syndrome, pulmonary embolism, and right ventricular dysfunction.

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 50% of patients receiving LENVIMA and pembrolizumab. Serious adverse reactions with frequency ≥3% were hypertension (4.4%), and urinary tract infection (3.2%).

Discontinuation of LENVIMA due to an adverse reaction occurred in 26% of patients. The most common (≥1%) adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of LENVIMA were hypertension (2%), asthenia (1.8%), diarrhea (1.2%), decreased appetite (1.2%), proteinuria (1.2%), and vomiting (1.2%).

Dose reductions of LENVIMA due to adverse reactions occurred in 67% of patients. The most common (≥5%) adverse reactions resulting in dose reduction of LENVIMA were hypertension (18%), diarrhea (11%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (9%), proteinuria (7%), fatigue (7%), decreased appetite (6%), asthenia (5%), and weight decreased (5%).

Dose interruptions of LENVIMA due to an adverse reaction occurred in 58% of these patients. The most common (≥2%) adverse reactions leading to interruption of LENVIMA were hypertension (11%), diarrhea (11%), proteinuria (6%), decreased appetite (5%), vomiting (5%), increased alanine aminotransferase (3.5%), fatigue (3.5%), nausea (3.5%), abdominal pain (2.9%), weight decreased (2.6%), urinary tract infection (2.6%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (2.3%), asthenia (2.3%), and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (2%).

Use in Specific Populations
Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants, advise women to discontinue breastfeeding during treatment and for at least 1 week after the last dose. LENVIMA may impair fertility in males and females of reproductive potential.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with mild (CLcr 60-89 mL/min) or moderate (CLcr 30-59 mL/min) renal impairment. LENVIMA concentrations may increase in patients with DTC, RCC, or EC and severe (CLcr 15-29 mL/min) renal impairment. Reduce the dose for patients with DTC, RCC, or EC and severe renal impairment. There is no recommended dose for patients with HCC and severe renal impairment. LENVIMA has not been studied in patients with end-stage renal disease.

No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with HCC and mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A). There is no recommended dose for patients with HCC with moderate (Child-Pugh B) or severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment. No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with DTC, RCC, or EC and mild or moderate hepatic impairment. LENVIMA concentrations may increase in patients with DTC, RCC, or EC and severe hepatic impairment. Reduce the dose for patients with DTC, RCC, or EC and severe hepatic impairment.

Please see Prescribing Information for LENVIMA (lenvatinib) at http://www.lenvima.com/pdfs/prescribing-information.pdf .

About the Merck and Eisai Strategic Collaboration
In March 2018, Eisai and Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, through an affiliate, entered into a strategic collaboration for the worldwide co-development and co-commercialization of LENVIMA. Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop, manufacture and commercialize LENVIMA, both as monotherapy and in combination with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA.

In addition to ongoing clinical studies evaluating the KEYTRUDA plus LENVIMA combination across several different tumor types, the companies have jointly initiated new clinical studies through the LEAP (LEnvatinib And Pembrolizumab) clinical program and are evaluating the combination in more than 10 different tumor types across more than 20 clinical trials.

Merck's Focus on Cancer
Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck, the potential to bring new hope to people with cancer drives our purpose and supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment. As part of our focus on cancer, Merck is committed to exploring the potential of immuno-oncology with one of the largest development programs in the industry across more than 30 tumor types. We also continue to strengthen our portfolio through strategic acquisitions and are prioritizing the development of several promising oncology 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 over 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter , Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and LinkedIn .

Eisai's Focus on Cancer
Eisai focuses on the development of anticancer drugs, targeting the tumor microenvironment (with experience and knowledge from existing in-house discovered compounds) and the driver gene mutation and aberrant splicing (leveraging RNA Splicing Platform) as areas ( Ricchi ) where real patient needs are still unmet, and where Eisai can aim to become a frontrunner in oncology. Eisai aspires to discover innovative new drugs with new targets and mechanisms of action from these Ricchi , with the aim of contributing to the cure of cancers.

About Eisai
Eisai is a leading global research and development-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Japan, with approximately 10,000 employees worldwide. We define our corporate mission as "giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides," which we call our human health care ( hhc ) philosophy. We strive to realize our hhc philosophy by delivering innovative products in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including Oncology and Neurology. In the spirit of hhc , we take that commitment even further by applying our scientific expertise, clinical capabilities and patient insights to discover and develop innovative solutions that help address society's toughest unmet needs, including neglected tropical diseases and the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com (for global headquarters: Eisai Co., Ltd.), us.eisai.com (for U.S. headquarters: Eisai, Inc.) or www.eisai.eu (for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand headquarters: Eisai Europe Ltd.), and connect with us on Twitter ( U.S . and global ) and LinkedIn (for U.S. and EMEA ).

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 company's 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 the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); 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 company's 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 company's 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 company's 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site ( www.sec.gov ).

Merck Media Relations
Melissa Moody: (215) 407-3536
Nikki Sullivan: (718) 644-0730

Merck Investor Relations
Peter Dannenbaum: (908) 740-1037
Raychel Kruper: (908) 740-2107 Eisai Co., Ltd.

Public Relations:
+81-(0)3-3817-5120

News Provided by Business Wire via QuoteMedia

U.S. FDA Approves Pfizer's CIBINQO® for Adults with Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis

CIBINQO is a once-daily oral treatment with proven efficacy to manage symptoms for adults who have not yet found relief with current options

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced today that the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CIBINQO ® (abrocitinib), an oral, once-daily, Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitor, for the treatment of adults living with refractory, moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) whose disease is not adequately controlled with other systemic drug products, including biologics, or when use of those therapies is inadvisable.

CIBINQO is approved at the recommended doses of 100 mg and 200 mg, with the 200 mg dose being recommended for patients who are not responding to the 100 mg dose. Additionally, a 50 mg dose was approved to treat moderate-to-severe AD specifically in patients with moderate renal impairment (kidney failure), certain patients receiving treatment with inhibitors of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C19, or patients who are known or suspected to be poor metabolizers of CYP2C19. For patients with moderate renal impairment who are not responding to 50 mg once daily, 100 mg once daily may also be prescribed.

"The reality for patients living with chronic inflammatory skin disease such as moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis is that many experience debilitating symptoms that are not managed by current treatment options. Today's approval of CIBINQO will provide an important new oral option that could help those who have yet to find relief," said Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, Department of Dermatology, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. "In multiple large-scale clinical trials, CIBINQO demonstrated strong efficacy at clearing skin, improving itch, and managing the extent and severity of eczema, offering a benefit-risk profile that supports the use of this treatment in the FDA-approved patient population."

The FDA approval was based on results of five clinical trials from a large-scale clinical trial program of more than 1,600 patients. The safety and efficacy of CIBINQO was evaluated in three randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 trials. Additionally, safety was evaluated through a randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial and an ongoing long-term open-label extension trial. Across the trials, CIBINQO demonstrated a consistent safety profile and profound improvements in skin clearance, extent of disease, and severity, as well as rapid improvement in itch after two weeks, for some people living with AD versus placebo. In addition, a higher proportion of subjects treated with CIBINQO in two monotherapy trials achieved improvement in itching at week 12 compared to placebo.

"The FDA's approval offers hope to the millions of patients across the U.S. who are suffering daily with an immuno-inflammatory condition that can cause intense and persistent itching, pain, discomfort, and distress if left uncontrolled," said Mike Gladstone, Global President of Pfizer Inflammation & Immunology. "CIBINQO, an efficacious once-daily pill, is a medical breakthrough made possible by Pfizer researchers and the people living with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who participated in our clinical trials."

"Atopic dermatitis is so much more than just a rash, and it goes beyond the surface of the skin. It's a chronic condition that can both significantly disrupt patients' daily lives and negatively impact their emotional well-being," said Julie Block, President and CEO, National Eczema Association. "We appreciate Pfizer's commitment to this resilient patient community and eagerly await the positive impact CIBINQO could have on the treatment landscape for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis."

The most common adverse events reported in ≥5% of patients with CIBINQO included nasopharyngitis (12.4% with CIBINQO 100 mg, 8.7% with CIBINQO 200 mg, and 7.9%, with placebo), nausea (6%, 14.5%, and 2.1%, respectively), and headache (6%, 7.8%, and 3.5%, respectively).

The full prescribing information for CIBINQO can be found here . CIBINQO will be made available in the coming weeks.

Additional Details on the CIBINQO Clinical Trial Program

Five clinical trials in the CIBINQO JAK1 Atopic Dermatitis Efficacy and Safety (JADE) global development program were included in the New Drug Application (NDA) to support the FDA approval.

The safety and efficacy of CIBINQO was evaluated in three Phase 3, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. The trials evaluated measures of improvements in skin clearance, itch, disease extent, and severity, including the Investigator Global Assessment (IGA), Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI), and Peak Pruritus Numerical Ratings Scale (PP-NRS). In each of the trials, over 40% of patients had prior exposure to a systemic therapy:

  • JADE MONO-1 and JADE MONO-2: A pair of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of two doses (100 mg and 200 mg once daily) of CIBINQO monotherapy in 778 patients 12 years of age and older with moderate-to-severe AD. The trials assessed the co-primary endpoints of IGA and EASI-75 responses at Week 12.
  • JADE COMPARE: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of two doses (100 mg and 200 mg once daily) of CIBINQO in 837 adult patients with moderate-to-severe AD on background topical medicated therapy. The trial also included an active control arm with dupilumab, a biologic treatment administered by subcutaneous injection, compared with placebo. The trial assessed the co-primary endpoints of IGA and EASI-75 responses at Week 12.

Select findings for CIBINQO 100 mg, 200 mg, and placebo follow (*p

  • JADE MONO-1:
    • IGA Response Rate (Week 12): 24%*, 44%**, and 8%, respectively
    • EASI-75 Response Rate (Week 12): 40%**, 62%**, and 12%, respectively
  • JADE MONO-2
    • IGA Response Rate (Week 12): 28%**, 38%**, and 9%, respectively
    • EASI-75 Response Rate (Week 12): 44%**, 61%**, and 10%, respectively
  • JADE COMPARE
    • IGA Response Rate (Week 12): 36%**, 47%**, and 14%, respectively
    • EASI-75 Response Rate (Week 12): 58%**, 68%**, and 27%, respectively

Safety was additionally evaluated through a randomized dose-ranging trial and a long-term, open-label, extension trial (JADE EXTEND).

U.S. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: SERIOUS INFECTIONS, MORTALITY, MALIGNANCY, MAJOR ADVERSE CARDIOVASCULAR EVENTS, AND THROMBOSIS

Serious Infections

Patients treated with CIBINQO may be at increased risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. The most frequent serious infections reported with CIBINQO were herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and pneumonia.

If a serious or opportunistic infection develops, discontinue CIBINQO and control the infection.

Reported infections from Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors used to treat inflammatory conditions:

  • Active tuberculosis, which may present with pulmonary or extrapulmonary disease. Test for latent TB before and during therapy; treat latent TB prior to use. Monitor all patients for active TB during treatment, even patients with initial negative, latent TB test.
  • Invasive fungal infections, including cryptococcosis and pneumocystosis. Patients with invasive fungal infections may present with disseminated, rather than localized, disease.
  • Bacterial, viral (including herpes zoster), and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens.

Avoid use of CIBINQO in patients with an active, serious infection, including localized infections. The risks and benefits of treatment with CIBINQO should be carefully considered prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infections or those who have resided or traveled in areas of endemic tuberculosis or endemic mycoses.

Patients should be closely monitored for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with CIBINQO, including the possible development of tuberculosis in patients who tested negative for latent tuberculosis infection prior to initiating therapy.

Consider yearly screening for patients in highly endemic areas for TB. CIBINQO is not recommended for use in patients with active TB. For patients with a new diagnosis of latent TB or prior untreated latent TB, or for patients with a negative test for latent TB but who are at high risk for TB infection, start preventive therapy for latent TB prior to initiation of CIBINQO.

Viral reactivation, including herpes virus reactivation (eg, herpes zoster, herpes simplex), was reported in clinical studies with CIBINQO. If a patient develops herpes zoster, consider interrupting CIBINQO until the episode resolves. Hepatitis B virus reactivation has been reported in patients receiving JAK inhibitors. Perform viral hepatitis screening and monitoring for reactivation in accordance with clinical guidelines before starting therapy and during therapy with CIBINQO. CIBINQO is not recommended for use in patients with active hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Mortality

In a large, randomized postmarketing safety study in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients 50 years of age and older with at least one cardiovascular risk factor comparing another JAK inhibitor to TNF blocker treatment, a higher rate of all-cause mortality (including sudden cardiovascular death) was observed with the JAK inhibitor. CIBINQO is not approved for use in RA patients.

Malignancies

Malignancies, including non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), were reported in patients treated with CIBINQO. Lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed in patients receiving JAK inhibitors used to treat inflammatory conditions. Perform periodic skin examination for patients who are at increased risk for skin cancer. Exposure to sunlight and UV light should be limited by wearing protective clothing and using broad-spectrum sunscreen.

In a large, randomized postmarketing safety study of another JAK inhibitor in RA patients, a higher rate of malignancies (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer [NMSC]) was observed in patients treated with the JAK inhibitor compared to those treated with TNF blockers. CIBINQO is not approved for use in RA patients. A higher rate of lymphomas was observed in patients treated with the JAK inhibitor compared to those treated with TNF blockers. A higher rate of lung cancers was observed in current or past smokers treated with the JAK inhibitor compared to those treated with TNF blockers. Patients who are current or past smokers are at additional increased risk.

Consider the benefits and risks for the individual patient prior to initiating or continuing therapy with CIBINQO, particularly in patients with a known malignancy (other than a successfully treated NMSC), patients who develop a malignancy when on treatment, and patients who are current or past smokers.

Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events

Major adverse cardiovascular events were reported in patients treated with CIBINQO. In RA patients 50 years of age and older with at least one cardiovascular risk factor treated with another JAK inhibitor, a higher rate of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) (defined as cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke), was observed when compared with TNF blockers. CIBINQO is not approved for use in RA patients. Patients who are current or past smokers are at additional increased risk. Discontinue CIBINQO in patients that have experienced a myocardial infarction or stroke.

Consider the benefits and risks for the individual patient prior to initiating or continuing therapy with CIBINQO, particularly in patients who are current or past smokers and patients with other cardiovascular risk factors. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious cardiovascular events and the steps to take if they occur.

Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) have been reported in patients treated with CIBINQO. Thrombosis, including PE, DVT, and arterial thrombosis have been reported in patients receiving JAK inhibitors used to treat inflammatory conditions. Many of these adverse reactions were serious and some resulted in death. In RA patients 50 years of age and older with at least one cardiovascular risk factor treated with another JAK inhibitor, a higher rate of overall thrombosis, DVT, and PE were observed when compared with TNF blockers. CIBINQO is not approved for use in RA patients.

Avoid CIBINQO in patients that may be at increased risk of thrombosis. If symptoms of thrombosis occur, discontinue CIBINQO and treat patients appropriately.

Contraindication

CIBINQO is contraindicated in patients taking antiplatelet therapies, except for low-dose aspirin (≤81 mg daily), during the first 3 months of treatment.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Hematologic Abnormalities : Treatment with CIBINQO was associated with an increased incidence of thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia. Prior to CIBINQO initiation, perform a complete blood count (CBC). CBC evaluations are recommended at 4 weeks after initiation and 4 weeks after dose increase of CIBINQO. Discontinuation of CIBINQO therapy is required for certain laboratory abnormalities.

Lipid Elevations: Dose-dependent increase in blood lipid parameters were reported in patients treated with CIBINQO. Lipid parameters should be assessed approximately 4 weeks following initiation of CIBINQO therapy, and thereafter patients should be managed according to clinical guidelines for hyperlipidemia. The effect of these lipid parameter elevations on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.

Immunizations

Prior to initiating CIBINQO, complete all age-appropriate vaccinations as recommended by current immunization guidelines, including prophylactic herpes zoster vaccinations. Avoid vaccination with live vaccines immediately prior to, during, and immediately after CIBINQO therapy.

Renal Impairment

Avoid use in patients with severe renal impairment or end stage renal disease, including those on renal replacement therapy.

Hepatic Impairment

Avoid use in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Adverse Reactions

Most common adverse reactions (≥1%) in subjects receiving 100 mg and 200 mg include: nasopharyngitis, nausea, headache, herpes simplex, increased blood creatinine phosphokinase, dizziness, urinary tract infection, fatigue, acne, vomiting, oropharyngeal pain, influenza, gastroenteritis.

Most common adverse reactions (≥1%) in subjects receiving either 100 mg or 200 mg also include: impetigo, hypertension, contact dermatitis, upper abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, herpes zoster, and thrombocytopenia.

Use in Pregnancy

Available data from pregnancies reported in clinical trials with CIBINQO are not sufficient to establish a drug-associated risk for major birth defects, miscarriage, or other adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Advise females of reproductive potential that CIBINQO may impair fertility.

There will be a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to CIBINQO during pregnancy. Pregnant women exposed to CIBINQO and health care providers are encouraged to call 1-877-311-3770.

Lactation

Advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with CIBINQO and for one day after the last dose.

Indication

CIBINQO is indicated for the treatment of adults with refractory, moderate to severe atopic dermatitis whose disease is not adequately controlled with other systemic drug products, including biologics, or when use of those therapies is inadvisable.

Limitations of Use: CIBINQO is not recommended for use in combination with other JAK inhibitors, biologic immunomodulators, or with other immunosuppressants.

About CIBINQO ® (abrocitinib)

CIBINQO is an oral small molecule that selectively inhibits Janus kinase (JAK) 1. Inhibition of JAK1 is thought to modulate multiple cytokines involved in pathophysiology of AD, including interleukin IL-4, IL-13, IL-31, IL-22, and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP).

In addition to receiving regulatory approval in the U.S., CIBINQO has received marketing authorization in the European Union, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Iceland, and Singapore.

About Atopic Dermatitis

AD is a chronic skin disease characterized by inflammation of the skin and skin barrier defects. i,ii Most people know AD is a skin condition. But many don't realize it can be caused in part by an abnormal immune response beneath the skin. This dysregulated immune response is thought to contribute to inflammation within the skin and the signs of AD on the surface. Lesions of AD are characterized by erythema (red/pink or discolored skin patches, depending on normal skin color), itching, lichenification (thick/leathery skin), induration (hardening)/papulation (formulation of papules), and oozing/crusting. i,ii

AD is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases, affecting approximately 5-10% of adults in the U.S. iii,iv Approximately 1 in 3 adults with AD have moderate-to-severe disease. v,vi

About Pfizer Inflammation & Immunology

At Pfizer Inflammation & Immunology, we strive to deliver breakthroughs that enable freedom from day-to-day suffering for people living with autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases, which can be debilitating, disfiguring and distressing, dramatically affecting what they can do. With a focus on immuno-inflammatory conditions in Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Medical Dermatology, our current portfolio of approved medicines and investigational molecules spans multiple action and delivery mechanisms, from topicals to small molecules, biologics and biosimilars. The root cause of many immunological diseases is immuno-inflammation, which requires specifically designed agents. Our differentiated R&D approach resulted in one of the broadest pipelines in the industry, where we purposefully match molecules to diseases where we believe they can make the biggest difference. Building on our decades-long commitment and pioneering science, we continue to advance the standard of care for patients living with immuno-inflammatory diseases and are working hand-in-hand with patients, caregivers and the broader healthcare community on healthcare solutions for the many challenges of managing chronic inflammatory diseases, allowing patients to live their best lives.

Pfizer Inc.: Breakthroughs that Change Patients' Lives

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety, and value in the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments, and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.pfizer.com . In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News , LinkedIn , YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer .

DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information contained in this release is as of January 14, 2022. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.

This release contains forward-looking information about CIBINQO (abrocitinib), including its potential benefits, an approval in the U.S. and anticipated product availability, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for our clinical trials, regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable new clinical data and further analyses of existing clinical data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments by regulatory authorities; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from our clinical studies; whether and when drug applications may be filed in any other jurisdictions for any potential indication for CIBINQO; whether and when any such other applications that may be pending or filed for CIBINQO may be approved by regulatory authorities, which will depend on myriad factors, including making a determination as to whether the product's benefits outweigh its known risks and determination of the product's efficacy and, if approved, whether CIBINQO will be commercially successful; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling, manufacturing processes, safety and/or other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of CIBINQO; uncertainties regarding the commercial or other impact of the results of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor studies and data and actions by regulatory authorities based on analysis of such studies and data, which will depend, in part, on benefit-risk assessments and labeling determinations; uncertainties regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our business, operations, and financial results; and competitive developments.

A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results", as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com .

Keep reading... Show less

Positive Top-Line Results of Pfizer's Phase 3 Study Exploring Coadministration of PREVNAR 20 With Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in Older Adults Released

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced positive top-line results from a Phase 3 study (B74710126) describing the safety and immunogenicity of PREVNAR 20™ (Pneumococcal 20-valent Conjugate Vaccine) in 570 adults in the United States 65 years of age or older when administered at the same time as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine or when each vaccine was given with placebo.

Responses elicited by PREVNAR 20 for all 20 serotypes were similar whether given with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (n=190) or with placebo (n=191). Responses to a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine were also similar when given with PREVNAR 20 or given with placebo (n=189). The safety profile of co-administering PREVNAR 20 with a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine generally reflected that observed with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose.

Keep reading... Show less

Jamieson Wellness Celebrates a Century of Improving the World's Health and Wellness

Company kicks off the Jamieson brand's 100 th year with commitments for a sustainable future

Jamieson Wellness Inc. ("Jamieson Wellness" or the "Company") (TSX:JWEL) is celebrating the 100 th anniversary of its flagship brand, Jamieson Vitamins, with long-term plans for the creation of a sustainable future.

Keep reading... Show less

Top Canadian Pharma Stocks

Click here to read the previous top Canadian pharma stocks article.

The Canadian pharmaceutical industry has positioned itself firmly on the global map thanks to advances in biotechnology and investments in medical research and development.

The life science sector is one of Canada’s key industries, and as a sub-sector the pharmaceutical industry represents 41 percent of Canada’s life science gross domestic product.

“Canada’s commercially oriented research network takes innovation from lab to market; joint investment opportunities in research allow for R&D result optimization; and the responsive and efficient regulatory environment facilitates business operations,” according to Invest in Canada.

Keep reading... Show less

Merck's KEYTRUDA® Showed Statistically Significant Improvement in Disease-Free Survival Versus Placebo as Adjuvant Treatment for Patients With Stage IB-IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Regardless of PD-L1 Expression

First Positive Study for KEYTRUDA in Adjuvant Stage IB-IIIA NSCLC

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP) today announced that the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-091 trial, also known as EORTC-1416-LCGETOP-8-15 PEARLS, investigating KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, met one of its dual primary endpoints of disease-free survival (DFS) for the adjuvant treatment of patients with stage IB-IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following surgical resection regardless of PD-L1 expression. Based on an interim analysis review conducted by an independent Data Monitoring Committee, adjuvant treatment with KEYTRUDA resulted in a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in DFS compared with placebo in the all-comer population of patients with stage IB-IIIA NSCLC.

Keep reading... Show less

Pfizer Enters into Agreement with Acuitas Therapeutics for Lipid Nanoparticle Delivery System for Use in mRNA Vaccines and Therapeutics

Expands Pfizer's access to lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulation technology, offering a strong strategic fit with Pfizer's mRNA strategy

Pfizer gains option to license Acuitas' LNP technology for up to 10 targets for vaccine or therapeutic development

Keep reading... Show less

Latest Press Releases

Related News

×