AstraZeneca and Merck Rapidly Advance LYNPARZA (olaparib) in Japan With a Second Regulatory Submission

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Potential to Offer a New Treatment Option for Patients With Germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

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Monday, October 23, 2017 6:55 am EDT

Public Company Information:

KENILWORTH, N.J.--( )--AstraZeneca and Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, today announced that they have submitted a new drug application (NDA) to Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) for the use of LYNPARZA® (olaparib) tablets in unresectable or recurrent BRCA-mutated breast cancer, with a decision expected in the second half of 2018.

The Japan NDA is based on the positive results from the Phase III OlympiAD trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This is the second NDA for LYNPARZA in Japan where the medicine is currently under review for use in ovarian cancer, with a PMDA decision for this indication anticipated in the first half of 2018.

LYNPARZA tablets are currently being tested in a range of tumor types in addition to ovarian and breast, including prostate and pancreatic cancers.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

DOSING AND ADMINISTRATION

To avoid substitution errors and overdose, do not substitute LYNPARZA (olaparib) tablets with LYNPARZA capsules on a milligram-to-milligram basis due to differences in the dosing and bioavailability of each formulation. Recommended tablet dose is 300 mg, taken orally twice daily, with or without food. Continue treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. For adverse reactions, consider dose interruption or dose reduction.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

There are no contraindications for LYNPARZA.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Acute Myeloid Leukemia (MDS/AML): Occurred in <1.5% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA monotherapy, and the majority of events had a fatal outcome. The duration of therapy in patients who developed secondary MDS/AML varied from <6 months to >2 years. All of these patients had previous chemotherapy with platinum agents and/or other DNA-damaging agents, including radiotherapy, and some of these patients also had a history of previous cancer or bone marrow dysplasia.

Do not start LYNPARZA until patients have recovered from hematological toxicity caused by previous chemotherapy (≤Grade 1). Monitor complete blood counts for cytopenia at baseline and monthly thereafter for clinically significant changes during treatment. For prolonged hematological toxicities, interrupt LYNPARZA and monitor blood counts weekly until recovery. If the levels have not recovered to Grade 1 or less after 4 weeks, refer the patient to a hematologist for further investigations, including bone marrow analysis and blood sample for cytogenetics. Discontinue LYNPARZA if MDS/AML is confirmed.

Pneumonitis: Occurred in <1% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA, and some cases were fatal. If patients present with new or worsening respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, cough, and fever, or a radiological abnormality occurs, interrupt treatment with LYNPARZA and initiate prompt investigation. Discontinue LYNPARZA (olaparib) if pneumonitis is confirmed and treat patient appropriately.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, LYNPARZA can cause fetal harm. A pregnancy test is recommended for females of reproductive potential prior to initiating treatment. Advise females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus and to use effective contraception during treatment and for 6 months after receiving the final dose.

ADVERSE REACTIONS—Maintenance Setting

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥20% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the maintenance setting for SOLO-2: nausea (76%), fatigue (including asthenia) (66%), anemia (44%), vomiting (37%), nasopharyngitis/upper respiratory tract infection (URI)/influenza (36%), diarrhea (33%), arthralgia/myalgia (30%), dysgeusia (27%), headache (26%), decreased appetite (22%), and stomatitis (20%).

Study 19: nausea (71%), fatigue (including asthenia) (63%), vomiting (35%), diarrhea (28%), anemia (23%), respiratory tract infection (22%), constipation (22%), headache (21%), and decreased appetite (21%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the maintenance setting (SOLO-2/Study 19) were: increase in mean corpuscular volume (89%/82%), decrease in hemoglobin (83%/82%), decrease in leukocytes (69%/58%), decrease in lymphocytes (67%/52%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (51%/47%), increase in serum creatinine (44%/45%), and decrease in platelets (42%/36%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—Advanced gBRCAm ovarian cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥20% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA for advanced gBRCAm ovarian cancer after 3 or more lines of chemotherapy (pooled from 6 studies) were: fatigue (including asthenia) (66%), nausea (64%), vomiting (43%), anemia (34%), diarrhea (31%), nasopharyngitis/upper respiratory tract infection (URI) (26%), dyspepsia (25%), myalgia (22%), decreased appetite (22%), and arthralgia/musculoskeletal pain (21%).

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

DRUG INTERACTIONS

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

CYP3A Inhibitors: Avoid concomitant use of strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitors. If a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor must be co-administered, reduce the dose of LYNPARZA. Advise patients to avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, Seville oranges, and Seville orange juice during LYNPARZA treatment.

CYP3A Inducers: Avoid concomitant use of strong or moderate CYP3A inducers when using LYNPARZA. If a moderate inducer cannot be avoided, be aware of a potential for decreased efficacy of LYNPARZA.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Pediatric Use: The safety and efficacy of LYNPARZA have not been established in pediatric patients.

Lactation: No data are available regarding the presence of olaparib in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in the breastfed infant, advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment with LYNPARZA and for 1 month after receiving the final dose.

Hepatic Impairment: No adjustment to the starting dose is required in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification A). There are no data in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment.

Renal Impairment: No adjustment to the starting dose is necessary in patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr 51-80 mL/min). In patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr 31-50 mL/min), reduce the dose to 200 mg twice daily. There are no data in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease (CLcr ≤30 mL/min).

Please see complete Prescribing Information, including Patient Information (Medication Guide)

About OlympiAD


OlympiAD is a randomized, open-label, multicenter phase 3 trial assessing the efficacy and safety of LYNPARZA (olaparib) tablets (300mg twice daily) compared to ‘physician’s choice’ chemotherapy (capecitabine, vinorelbine, eribulin) in 302 patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, which are predicted or suspected to be deleterious. The international trial was conducted in 19 countries from across Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

About LYNPARZA

® (olaparib)


LYNPARZA was the first FDA-approved oral poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor that may exploit tumor DNA damage response (DDR) pathway deficiencies to potentially kill cancer cells.Specifically, in vitro studies have shown that olaparib-induced cytotoxicity may involve inhibition of PARP enzymatic activity and increased formation of PARP-DNA complexes, resulting in DNA damage and cancer cell death.

LYNPARZA is the foundation of AstraZeneca’s industry-leading portfolio of compounds targeting DDR mechanisms in cancer cells.

About Metastatic Breast Cancer


Approximately one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S.Of these patients, approximately one-third are either diagnosed with or progress to the metastatic stage of the disease. Despite treatment options increasing during the past three decades, there is currently no cure for patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Thus, the primary aim of treatment is to slow progression of the disease for as long as possible, improving or at least maintaining, a patient’s quality of life.

About Germline BRCA Mutations


BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce proteins responsible for repairing damaged DNA and play an important role maintaining the genetic stability of cells. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, such that its protein product either is not made or does not function correctly, DNA damage may not be repaired properly. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.

About the AstraZeneca and Merck Strategic Oncology Collaboration


On July 27, 2017, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., announced a global strategic oncology collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize AstraZeneca’s LYNPARZA (olaparib), the world’s first and leading PARP inhibitor, and potential new medicine selumetinib, a MEK inhibitor, for multiple cancer types. The collaboration is based on increasing evidence that PARP and MEK inhibitors can be combined with PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitors for a range of tumor types. Working together, the companies will jointly develop LYNPARZA and selumetinib in combination with other potential new medicines and as a monotherapy. Independently, the companies will develop LYNPARZA and selumetinib in combination with their respective PD-L1 and PD-1 medicines.

Merck’s Focus on Cancer


Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck, helping people fight cancer is our passion and supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment. Our focus is on pursuing research in immuno-oncology and we are accelerating every step in the journey – from lab to clinic – to potentially bring new hope to people with cancer.

As part of our focus on cancer, Merck is committed to exploring the potential of immuno-oncology with one of the fastest-growing development programs in the industry. We are currently executing an expansive research program evaluating our anti-PD-1 therapy across more than 30 tumor types. We also continue to strengthen our immuno-oncology portfolio through strategic acquisitions and are prioritizing the development of several promising immunotherapeutic 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 more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on , , InstagramYouTube 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 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 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 2016 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).

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Merck
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or
Courtney Ronaldo, 908-740-6132
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