LYNPARZA® (olaparib) Approved by FDA for Treatment of HRR Gene-Mutated Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer That Has Progressed Following Prior Treatment with Enzalutamide or Abiraterone

Only PARP Inhibitor to Improve Overall Survival vs. Enzalutamide or Abiraterone for Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Patients with BRCA or ATM Mutations, A Key Secondary Endpoint in the Phase 3 PROfound Trial

Approximately 20-30% of Men with Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Have an HRR Gene Mutation

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 6:55 am EDT

Dateline:

KENILWORTH, N.J.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
MRK

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AstraZeneca and Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved LYNPARZA for the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have progressed following prior treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone. Patients will be selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

The approval was based on positive results from Phase 3 PROfound trial and published in The New England Journal of Medicine on April 28, 2020.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer in men, and despite an increase in the number of available therapies for men with mCRPC, five-year survival remains low. HRR gene mutations occur in approximately 20-30% of patients with mCRPC.

Dr. Maha Hussain, one of the principal investigators of the PROfound trial and deputy director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, said, “Prostate cancer has lagged behind other solid tumors in the era of precision medicine. I am thrilled by the approval of LYNPARZA, which now brings a molecularly targeted treatment for this patient population in the U.S. The PROfound trial was an international effort and I want to thank the patients, their families, the investigators and their teams involved in making it possible.”

Results from the PROfound trial showed LYNPARZA reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 66% (HR 0.34 [95% CI, 0.25-0.47], p<0.0001) and improved radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) to a median of 7.4 months vs. 3.6 months with enzalutamide or abiraterone in men with mCRPC selected for BRCA1/2 or ATM gene mutations, the primary endpoint and a subpopulation of HRR gene mutations. Results also showed LYNPARZA reduced the risk of radiographic disease progression or death by 51% (HR 0.49 [95% CI, 0.38-0.63], p<0.0001) and improved rPFS to a median of 5.8 months vs. 3.5 months with enzalutamide or abiraterone in the overall trial population of men with HRR gene-mutated mCRPC, a key secondary endpoint.

Additional results announced in April 2020 showed a statistically significant improvement in the key secondary endpoint of overall survival (OS) with LYNPARZA vs. enzalutamide or abiraterone in men with mCRPC and BRCA1/2 or ATM gene mutations. Results showed LYNPARZA reduced the risk of death by 31% (HR 0.69 [95% CI, 0.50-0.97], p=0.0175) and improved OS to a median of 19.1 months vs. 14.7 months for those treated with enzalutamide or abiraterone.

Venous thromboembolic events, including pulmonary embolism, occurred in 7% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who received LYNPARZA plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) compared to 3.1% of patients receiving enzalutamide or abiraterone plus ADT in the PROfound study. Patients receiving LYNPARZA and ADT had a 6% incidence of pulmonary embolism compared to 0.8% of patients treated with ADT plus either enzalutamide or abiraterone.

Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president, head of the oncology business unit, AstraZeneca, said, “Today marks the first approval for LYNPARZA in prostate cancer. In the PROfound trial, LYNPARZA more than doubled the median radiographic progression-free survival and is the only PARP inhibitor to improve overall survival versus enzalutamide or abiraterone for men with BRCA or ATM mutations. These results further establish that genomic testing for HRR mutations should be considered a critical step for the diagnosis and determination of treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer.”

Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories, said, “LYNPARZA is the only PARP inhibitor approved with Phase 3 data for men with HRR gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. This approval highlights the importance of genomic testing to identify treatment options for men in this patient population. We are proud to work in collaboration with AstraZeneca toward our overall goal of improving outcomes for patients.”

The most common adverse reactions (ARs) in the PROfound trial ≥10% for LYNPARZA compared to enzalutamide or abiraterone were anemia (46% vs. 15%), nausea (41% vs. 19%), fatigue (including asthenia) (41% vs. 32%), decreased appetite (30% vs. 18%), diarrhea (21% vs. 7%), vomiting (18% vs. 12%), thrombocytopenia (12% vs. 3%), cough (11% vs. 2%), and dyspnea (10% vs. 3%). Dose interruptions due to an AR occurred in 45% of patients receiving LYNPARZA and dose reductions due to an AR occurred in 22% of LYNPARZA patients. Discontinuation due to ARs occurred in 18% of LYNPARZA patients.

Fatal ARs occurred in 4% of patients treated with LYNPARZA. These included pneumonia (1.2%), cardiopulmonary failure (0.4%), aspiration pneumonia (0.4%), intestinal diverticulum (0.4%), septic shock (0.4%), Budd-Chiari Syndrome (0.4%), sudden death (0.4%), and acute cardiac failure (0.4%). Serious ARs occurred in 36% of patients receiving LYNPARZA. The most frequent serious ARs (≥2%) were anemia (9%), pneumonia (4%), pulmonary embolism (2%), fatigue/asthenia (2%) and urinary tract infection (2%).

LYNPARZA is currently under regulatory review in the European Union and other jurisdictions as a treatment for men with HRR gene-mutated mCRPC.

AstraZeneca and Merck are exploring additional trials in metastatic prostate cancer, including the ongoing Phase 3 PROpel trial evaluating LYNPARZA as a first-line therapy in combination with abiraterone acetate for patients with mCRPC vs. abiraterone acetate alone.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

CONTRAINDICATIONS

There are no contraindications for LYNPARZA.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

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 also had a history of more than one primary malignancy or of bone marrow dysplasia.

Do not start LYNPARZA until patients have recovered from hematological toxicity caused by previous chemotherapy (≤Grade 1). Monitor complete blood count for cytopenia at baseline and monthly thereafter for clinically significant changes during treatment. For prolonged hematological toxicities, interrupt LYNPARZA and monitor blood count 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 LYNPARZA treatment and initiate prompt investigation. Discontinue LYNPARZA 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.

Females

Advise females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus and to use effective contraception during treatment and for 6 months following the last dose.

Males

Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential or who are pregnant to use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months following the last dose of LYNPARZA and to not donate sperm during this time.

Venous Thromboembolic Events: Including pulmonary embolism, occurred in 7% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who received LYNPARZA plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) compared to 3.1% of patients receiving enzalutamide or abiraterone plus ADT in the PROfound study. Patients receiving LYNPARZA and ADT had a 6% incidence of pulmonary embolism compared to 0.8% of patients treated with ADT plus either enzalutamide or abiraterone. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and treat as medically appropriate, which may include long-term anticoagulation as clinically indicated.

ADVERSE REACTIONS—First-Line Maintenance BRCAm Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for SOLO-1 were: nausea (77%), fatigue (67%), abdominal pain (45%), vomiting (40%), anemia (38%), diarrhea (37%), constipation (28%), upper respiratory tract infection/influenza/ nasopharyngitis/bronchitis (28%), dysgeusia (26%), decreased appetite (20%), dizziness (20%), neutropenia (17%), dyspepsia (17%), dyspnea (15%), leukopenia (13%), UTI (13%), thrombocytopenia (11%), and stomatitis (11%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for SOLO-1 were: decrease in hemoglobin (87%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (87%), decrease in leukocytes (70%), decrease in lymphocytes (67%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (51%), decrease in platelets (35%), and increase in serum creatinine (34%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—First-Line Maintenance Advanced Ovarian Cancer in Combination with Bevacizumab

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients treated with LYNPARZA/bevacizumab compared to a ≥5% frequency for placebo/bevacizumab in the first-line maintenance setting for PAOLA-1 were: nausea (53%), fatigue (including asthenia) (53%), anemia (41%), lymphopenia (24%), vomiting (22%) and leukopenia (18%). In addition, the most common adverse reactions (≥10%) for patients receiving LYNPARZA/bevacizumab irrespective of the frequency compared with the placebo/bevacizumab arm were: diarrhea (18%), neutropenia (18%), urinary tract infection (15%), and headache (14%).

In addition, venous thromboembolic events occurred more commonly in patients receiving LYNPARZA/bevacizumab (5%) than in those receiving placebo/bevacizumab (1.9%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients for LYNPARZA in combination with bevacizumab in the first-line maintenance setting for PAOLA-1 were: decrease in hemoglobin (79%), decrease in lymphocytes (63%), increase in serum creatinine (61%), decrease in leukocytes (59%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (35%), and decrease in platelets (35%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—Maintenance Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥20% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the maintenance setting for SOLO-2 were: 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%), decreased appetite (21%), and dyspepsia (20%).

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/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 (pooled from 6 studies) were: decrease in hemoglobin (90%), mean corpuscular volume elevation (57%), decrease in lymphocytes (56%), increase in serum creatinine (30%), decrease in platelets (30%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (25%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—gBRCAm, HER2-negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥20% of patients in OlympiAD were: nausea (58%), anemia (40%), fatigue (including asthenia) (37%), vomiting (30%), neutropenia (27%), respiratory tract infection (27%), leukopenia (25%), diarrhea (21%), and headache (20%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in >25% of patients in OlympiAD were: decrease in hemoglobin (82%), decrease in lymphocytes (73%), decrease in leukocytes (71%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (71%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (46%), and decrease in platelets (33%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—First-Line Maintenance gBRCAm Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: fatigue (60%), nausea (45%), abdominal pain (34%), diarrhea (29%), anemia (27%), decreased appetite (25%), constipation (23%), vomiting (20%), back pain (19%), arthralgia (15%), rash (15%), thrombocytopenia (14%), dyspnea (13%), neutropenia (12%), nasopharyngitis (12%), dysgeusia (11%), and stomatitis (10%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: increase in serum creatinine (99%), decrease in hemoglobin (86%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (71%), decrease in lymphocytes (61%), decrease in platelets (56%), decrease in leukocytes (50%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (25%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—HRR Gene-mutated Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA for PROfound were: anemia (46%), fatigue (including asthenia) (41%), nausea (41%), decreased appetite (30%), diarrhea (21%), vomiting (18%), thrombocytopenia (12%), cough (11%), and dyspnea (10%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients in clinical trials of LYNPARZA for PROfound were: decrease in hemoglobin (98%), decrease in lymphocytes (62%), decrease in leukocytes (53%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (34%).

DRUG INTERACTIONS

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

CYP3A Inhibitors: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitors when using LYNPARZA. If a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor must be coadministered, reduce the dose of LYNPARZA. Advise patients to avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, Seville oranges, and Seville orange juice during LYNPARZA treatment.

CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inducers when using LYNPARZA.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Lactation: No data are available regarding the presence of olaparib in human milk, its effects on the breastfed infant or 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.

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

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

Renal Impairment: No dosage modification is recommended in patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr 51-80 mL/min estimated by Cockcroft-Gault). In patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr 31-50 mL/min), reduce the dose of LYNPARZA to 200 mg twice daily. There are no data in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease (CLcr ≤30 mL/min).

INDICATIONS

LYNPARZA is a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor indicated:

First-Line Maintenance BRCAm Advanced Ovarian Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm or sBRCAm) advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

First-Line Maintenance HRD Positive Advanced Ovarian Cancer in Combination with Bevacizumab

In combination with bevacizumab for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy and whose cancer is associated with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) positive status defined by either:

  • a deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA mutation and/or
  • genomic instability

Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

Maintenance Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer, who are in complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Advanced gBRCAm Ovarian Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm) advanced ovarian cancer who have been treated with 3 or more prior lines of chemotherapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

gBRCAm HER2-negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer, who have been treated with chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant or metastatic setting. Patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer should have been treated with a prior endocrine therapy or be considered inappropriate for endocrine therapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

First-Line Maintenance gBRCAm Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma whose disease has not progressed on at least 16 weeks of a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy regimen. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

HRR Gene-mutated Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have progressed following prior treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

Please click here for complete Prescribing Information, including Patient Information (Medication Guide).

Financial Considerations

Under the oncology collaboration with AstraZeneca and following this new approval for LYNPARZA, AstraZeneca will receive a $35 million payment from Merck.

About PROfound

PROfound is a prospective, multi-center, randomized, open-label, Phase 3 trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of LYNPARZA vs. enzalutamide or abiraterone in patients with mCRPC who have progressed on prior treatment with a new hormonal anticancer treatment and have a qualifying tumor mutation in one of 15 genes involved in the homologous recombination repair (HRR) pathway, among them BRCA1/2, ATM and CDK12.

The trial was designed to analyze patients with HRR mutated genes in two cohorts: the primary endpoint was in those with mutations in BRCA1/2 or ATM genes and then, if LYNPARZA showed clinical benefit, a formal analysis was performed of the overall trial population of patients with HRR mutated genes (BRCA1/2, ATM, CDK12 and 11 other HRR mutated genes; key secondary endpoint).

In the U.S., patients are selected for treatment with LYNPARZA based on the following FDA-approved companion diagnostics:

  • FoundationOne CDX: to identify patients with HRR gene alterations in prostate tumor tissue. FoundationOne is a registered trademark of Foundation Medicine, Inc.
  • BRACAnalysis CDX: a germline test to identify patients with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. Myriad Genetics, Inc. owns and commercializes BRACAnalysis CDX.

About LYNPARZA® (olaparib)

LYNPARZA is a first-in-class PARP inhibitor and the first targeted treatment to potentially exploit DNA damage response (DDR) pathway deficiencies, such as BRCA mutations, to preferentially kill cancer cells. Inhibition of PARP with LYNPARZA leads to the trapping of PARP bound to DNA single-strand breaks, stalling of replication forks, their collapse and the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and cancer cell death. LYNPARZA is being tested in a range of tumor types with defects and dependencies in the DDR.

LYNPARZA, which is being jointly developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Merck, has a broad and advanced clinical trial development program, and AstraZeneca and Merck are working together to understand how it may affect multiple PARP-dependent tumors as a monotherapy and in combination across multiple cancer types.

About Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC)

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and is associated with a significant mortality rate. In the U.S. this year, it is estimated that more than 191,900 people will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 33,300 people will die of this disease. HRR gene mutations occur in approximately 20-30% of patients with mCRPC.

Development of prostate cancer is often driven by male sex hormones called androgens, including testosterone. mCRPC occurs when prostate cancer grows and spreads to other parts of the body despite the use of androgen-deprivation therapy to block the action of male sex hormones. Approximately 10-20% of men with advanced prostate cancer will develop CRPC within five years, and at least 84% of these will have metastases at the time of CRPC diagnosis. Of men with no metastases at CRPC diagnosis, 33% are likely to develop metastases within two years. Despite an increase in the number of available therapies, five-year survival for men with mCRPC remains low.

About Homologous Recombination Repair (HRR) Mutations

Homologous recombination repair (HRR) plays a significant role in maintaining the genetic stability of cells and suppressing tumor growth by repairing damaged DNA. Mutations, or defects, in homologous recombination (HR) pathway genes – which include ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and BRCA1/2 genes – increase the risk for breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate and other cancers.

About the AstraZeneca and Merck Strategic Oncology Collaboration

In July 2017, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, US, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced a global strategic oncology collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize certain oncology products including LYNPARZA, the world’s first PARP inhibitor. Working together, the companies will develop these products in combination with other potential new medicines and as monotherapies. Independently, the companies will develop these oncology products 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, 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 more than 125 years, Merck, 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 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 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.

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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 2019 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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