Merck Receives Positive CHMP Opinion for PREVYMIS™ (letermovir) in the European Union

KENILWORTH, NJ, USA I November 13, 2017 I Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion recommending approval of PREVYMIS™ (letermovir) for prophylaxis of cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation and disease in adult CMV-seropositive recipients [R+] of an allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).

The CHMP positive opinion will be considered by the European Commission. If the CHMP opinion is affirmed, the European Commission will grant a centralized marketing authorization with unified labeling that is valid in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU), as well as European Economic Area members, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Merck anticipates that the European Commission decision will be adopted within approximately two months.

In the pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating letermovir, significantly fewer patients in the PREVYMIS arm (38%, n=122/325) compared to the placebo arm (61%, n=103/170) developed clinically significant CMV infection, discontinued treatment or had missing data through Week 24 post-HSCT [treatment difference: -23.5 (95% confidence interval -32.5 to -14.6), (p<0.0001)], the primary efficacy endpoint.

PREVYMIS was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 8. In the U.S., PREVYMIS is indicated for prophylaxis of cytomegalovirus infection and disease in adult CMV-seropositive recipients [R+] of an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Merck also has filed letermovir for regulatory approval in other markets including Japan, where it is currently under review.

About PREVYMIS (letermovir)

PREVYMIS is a member of a new class of non-nucleoside CMV inhibitors (3,4 dihydro-quinazolines) and inhibits viral replication by specifically targeting the viral terminase complex. Cross resistance is not likely with drugs outside of this class. PREVYMIS is fully active against viral populations with substitutions conferring resistance to CMV DNA polymerase inhibitors. These DNA polymerase inhibitors are fully active against viral populations with substitutions conferring resistance to PREVYMIS (letermovir). PREVYMIS has no activity against other viruses. Letermovir has been granted orphan designation for the prevention of CMV disease in at-risk populations in the U.S., EU and Japan, and is under accelerated review in Japan.

Under an agreement signed in 2012, Merck (through a subsidiary) purchased worldwide rights to develop and commercialize letermovir from AiCuris GmbH & Co KG (www.aicuris.com).

About CMV and Treatment

CMV is a common virus that infects people of all ages. Many adults in the United States are CMV seropositive, meaning they have CMV antibodies in their blood, indicating a previous exposure to or primary infection with CMV. People with normal immune systems rarely develop CMV symptoms after initial infection, with the virus typically remaining inactive or latent in the body for life. A weakened immune system may give the virus a chance to reactivate, potentially leading to symptomatic disease or a secondary infection due to other pathogens. CMV disease can lead to end-organ damage, including gastrointestinal tract disease, pneumonia or retinitis. Transplant recipients who develop CMV infection post-transplant are at increased risk for transplant failure and death. CMV prophylaxis with certain existing antivirals has been associated with drug-specific effects, including myelosuppression and renal toxicity, in HSCT recipients.

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 TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube and LinkedIn.

SOURCE: Merck

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