Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for Priority Review a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for VAXNEUVANCE (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine) for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease in children 6 weeks through 17 years of age. The FDA grants priority review to medicines and vaccines that, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment or prevention of a serious condition. The FDA set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), or target action date, of April 1, 2022.
"VAXNEUVANCE has the potential to provide meaningful protection against invasive pneumococcal disease for children and infants by targeting pneumococcal strains, or serotypes, that contribute to substantial disease burden, including serotype 3, and broadening coverage to additional disease-causing serotypes, 22F and 33F, which are not included in the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) currently available for this population," said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories. "We look forward to working with the U.S. FDA as it reviews what would be the first new option in pediatric pneumococcal vaccination in over a decade."
The sBLA is supported by results from Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical studies in pediatric populations including infants, children, and adolescents. These studies support the potential use of VAXNEUVANCE in a variety of clinical settings, including immunization of infants and toddlers as well as of special populations at increased risk for pneumococcal disease, such as children with HIV infection or sickle cell disease. The submission also includes data supporting the potential use of VAXNEUVANCE as part of a mixed dosing regimen following initiation of an infant vaccination schedule with PCV13 as well as in a catch-up setting for older children who are either pneumococcal vaccine-naïve or who previously received a partial or full regimen of a lower-valency pediatric PCV.
Invasive pneumococcal disease can cause serious and potentially life-threatening infections in infants and children. Children under the age of 2 are particularly vulnerable to pneumococcal infection, and incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease remains highest in the first year of life. There are 100 different types of pneumococcal bacteria, of which some continue to put children at risk, including serotypes 22F, 33F and 3, which represent more than a quarter of invasive pneumococcal disease in children under the age of 5.
About VAXNEUVANCE (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine)
VAXNEUVANCE, Merck's 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, consists of purified capsular polysaccharides from S. pneumoniae serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, 22F, 23F and 33F individually conjugated to CRM 197 carrier protein. VAXNEUVANCE is indicated for active immunization of adults 18 years of age and older for the prevention of invasive disease caused by the S. pneumoniae serotypes contained in the vaccine. It is currently under investigation in the pediatric population. VAXNEUVANCE previously received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease in pediatric patients 6 weeks through 17 years of age.
Select Safety Information for VAXNEUVANCE in Adults 18 Years of Age and Older
Do not administer VAXNEUVANCE to individuals with a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of VAXNEUVANCE or to diphtheria toxoid.
Some individuals with altered immunocompetence, including those receiving immunosuppressive therapy, may have a reduced immune response to VAXNEUVANCE.
The most commonly reported solicited adverse reactions in individuals 18 through 49 years of age were: injection site pain (75.8%), fatigue (34.3%), myalgia (28.8%), headache (26.5%), injection site swelling (21.7%), injection site erythema (15.1%) and arthralgia (12.7%).
The most commonly reported solicited adverse reactions in individuals 50 years of age and older were: injection site pain (66.8%), myalgia (26.9%), fatigue (21.5%), headache (18.9%), injection site swelling (15.4%), injection site erythema (10.9%) and arthralgia (7.7%).
Vaccination with VAXNEUVANCE may not protect all vaccine recipients.
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 .
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Please see Prescribing Information for VAXNEUVANCE (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine) at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/vaxneuvance/vaxneuvance_pi.pdf .
and Patient Information at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/vaxneuvance/vaxneuvance_ppi.pdf .