Pharmaceutical

Merck Announces Pause in Enrollment for Two Phase 3 Clinical Trials of Investigational, Once-Monthly, Oral Islatravir for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis of HIV-1 infection

Enrolled Participants Will Continue to Receive Study Medicine

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced a pause in enrollment for the IMPOWER 22 (MK-8591-022) and IMPOWER 24 (MK-8591-024) Phase 3 clinical studies evaluating investigational, once-monthly, oral islatravir (ISL), a nucleoside reverse transcriptase translocation inhibitor, for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in people at high risk of HIV-1 infection.

At the recommendation of the ISL PrEP external data monitoring committee (eDMC), Merck is pausing enrollment for the IMPOWER 22 and IMPOWER 24 trials while the company conducts further analyses of these and other ongoing studies. Participants already enrolled in the trials will continue to receive the study medicine. Informed by the recommendations of the PrEP eDMC, Merck is implementing additional monitoring measures for study participants, including increasing the frequency of total lymphocyte and CD4+ T-cell assessments. Investigators have been informed of these actions.

"We continue to apply learnings from our HIV program as we move forward with the development of islatravir in both treatment and PrEP," said Dr. Joan Butterton, vice president, infectious diseases, Global Clinical Development, Merck Research Laboratories. "Merck remains committed to developing tools to help address unmet needs in HIV treatment and prevention to contribute to the global effort against the ongoing HIV epidemic."

About IMPOWER 22 (MK-8591-022) and IMPOWER 24 (MK-8591-024)

The IMPOWER 22 clinical trial is a Phase 3, randomized, active-controlled, double-blind clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral islatravir once-monthly compared to once-daily emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (FTC/TDF) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in cisgender women at high risk for HIV-1 Infection.

The IMPOWER 24 clinical trial is a Phase 3, randomized, active-controlled, double-blind clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral islatravir once-monthly as PrEP compared to once-daily FTC/TDF or emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide (FTC/TAF) in cisgender men and transgender women who have sex with men, and are at high risk for HIV-1 infection.

About Islatravir (MK-8591)

Islatravir (MK-8591) is Merck's investigational nucleoside reverse transcriptase translocation inhibitor under evaluation for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1.

Our Commitment to HIV

For more than 35 years, Merck has been committed to scientific research and discovery (R&D) in HIV. Today, we are developing a series of antiviral options designed to help people manage HIV and protect people from HIV, with the goal of reducing the growing burden of infection worldwide. We remain committed to working hand-in-hand with our partners in the global HIV community to address the complex challenges that impede progress toward ending the epidemic.

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 .

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 candidates that the candidates 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 ).

Media Contacts:

Melissa Moody
(215) 407-3536

Sienna Choi
(908) 873-4311

Investor Contacts:

Peter Dannenbaum
(908) 740-1037

Raychel Kruper
(908) 740-2107

News Provided by Business Wire via QuoteMedia

FDA Approves KEYTRUDA® as Adjuvant Treatment Following Surgical Resection and Platinum-Based Chemotherapy for Patients With Stage IB , II, or IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Approval based on KEYNOTE-091 trial, which demonstrated a clinically meaningful improvement in disease-free survival with KEYTRUDA in these patients following surgical resection and platinum-based chemotherapy versus placebo

Approval marks fifth indication for KEYTRUDA-based regimens in NSCLC and 34th indication for KEYTRUDA in the US

News Provided by Business Wire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less

Merck Animal Health Receives U.S. FDA Approval of Expanded Indication for BRAVECTO Chews for Dogs

Portfolio expansion provides dogs broad-spectrum protection against Asian longhorned ticks

Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside of the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of an expanded indication for BRAVECTO ® Chews for Dogs. The new indication treats and controls Asian longhorned ticks, which are an invasive Ixodid species located across more than one-third of the U.S 1,2 .

News Provided by Business Wire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less

BetterLife Announces Engagement of Bloom Burton Securities Inc. and Provides Summary of 2022 Accomplishments

BetterLife Pharma Inc. ("BetterLife" or the "Company") (CSE: BETR  OTCQB: BETRF FRA: NPAU ), an emerging biotech company focused on the development and commercialization of cutting-edge treatments for mental disorders, is pleased to announce the engagement of Bloom Burton Securities Inc. ("Bloom Burton") for strategic advisory services to support BetterLife's growth and development initiatives towards clinical trials.

"We are very excited to be working with Bloom Burton, Canada's leading healthcare investment banking firm," said Ahmad Doroudian, CEO of BetterLife. "Bloom Burton has extensive understanding of the overall biotechnology and healthcare landscape and the emerging psychedelics space specifically, which will help advance our clinical trial initiatives and accomplish our financing needs."

News Provided by GlobeNewswire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less

Merck Announces KEYNOTE-991 Trial Evaluating KEYTRUDA® Plus Enzalutamide and Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Patients With Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive Prostate Cancer to Stop for Futility

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, today announced that it will stop the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-991 trial investigating KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with enzalutamide and androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for the treatment of patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). Merck is discontinuing the study based on the recommendation of an independent Data Monitoring Committee which reviewed data from a planned interim analysis. At the interim analysis, KEYTRUDA in combination with enzalutamide and ADT did not demonstrate an improvement in overall survival (OS) or radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS), the trial's dual primary endpoints, compared to placebo plus enzalutamide and ADT. The safety profile of KEYTRUDA in this trial was consistent with that observed in previously reported studies. No new safety signals were identified; however, the combination was associated with a higher incidence of Grade 3-5 adverse events and serious adverse events compared to the control arm. Merck is informing study investigators of the decision and advises patients in the study to speak to their physician regarding treatment. Data from this study will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.

News Provided by Business Wire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less

Merck's KEYTRUDA® Plus Chemotherapy Significantly Improved Overall Survival Versus Chemotherapy in First-Line Advanced or Unresectable Biliary Tract Cancer in KEYNOTE-966 Trial

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, today announced positive results from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-966 trial. In the final analysis of this trial, KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with standard of care chemotherapy (gemcitabine and cisplatin) demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival (OS) versus chemotherapy alone for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced or unresectable biliary tract cancer (BTC). The safety profile of KEYTRUDA in this trial was consistent with that observed in previously reported studies. Results will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting and will be submitted to regulatory authorities.

News Provided by Business Wire via QuoteMedia

Keep reading...Show less
female doctor tapping on digital tablet against scientific blue background with capsule, diagram, chart and infographics

Pharma Market Forecast: 3 Top Trends That Will Affect Pharma in 2023

Will the pharmaceutical market reestablish itself as a safe option for investors in the new year?

Pharma investments have been disappointing in the recent past, but some experts believe the sector will start down the road to recovery in 2023. Read on to learn about the trends that will drive the industry in the next 12 months.

Keep reading...Show less

Latest Press Releases

Related News

×