Breaking News
February 23, 2019 - AHA News: Why Are Black Women at Higher Risk of Dying From Pregnancy Complications?
February 23, 2019 - NIMH » Anxiety Disorders
February 23, 2019 - Autistic people urgently need access to tailored mental health support
February 23, 2019 - Newly designed molecule could benefit people with Friedrich’s Ataxia
February 23, 2019 - Chinese CRISPR twins may have better cognition and memory
February 23, 2019 - Study finds new genetic clues associated with asthma in African ancestry populations
February 23, 2019 - Fetal signaling pathways may offer future opportunities to treat lung damage
February 23, 2019 - Early-stage osteoarthritis drug wins prestigious innovation award
February 23, 2019 - Researchers report positive findings with dasotraline for ADHD in children ages 6-12
February 23, 2019 - News study reanalyzes the effects of noncaloric sweeteners on gut microbiota
February 23, 2019 - New device allows scientists to reproduce blow effects on the heart in lab
February 23, 2019 - Holy herb identified as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
February 23, 2019 - New technology platform digitally counts growth factors in single cells
February 23, 2019 - Surgery and other treatments offer viable options for adult scoliosis
February 23, 2019 - Reduced antibody adaptability may make the elderly more vulnerable to influenza
February 23, 2019 - Neighborhood income, education associated with risk of disability progression in MS patients
February 23, 2019 - 2019 guidelines for management of patients with atrial fibrillation
February 23, 2019 - Surprise rheumatoid arthritis discovery points to new treatment for joint inflammation
February 23, 2019 - A just-right fix for a tiny heart
February 23, 2019 - UMass Amherst scientist explores role of citrus peel in decreasing gut inflammation
February 23, 2019 - Owlstone Medical and Shanghai Renji Hospital collaborate to initiate breath biopsy lung cancer trial
February 23, 2019 - AMSBIO’s comprehensive portfolio of knock-out cell lines and lysates
February 23, 2019 - New app reliably determines physicians’ skills in forming accurate, efficient diagnoses
February 23, 2019 - Peripheral nerve injury can trigger the onset and spread of ALS, shows study
February 23, 2019 - Researchers uncover mechanisms that prevent tooth replacement in mice
February 23, 2019 - Once-a-day capsule offers new way to reduce symptoms of chronic breathlessness
February 23, 2019 - FDA Adds Boxed Warning for Increased Risk of Death with Gout Medicine Uloric (febuxostat)
February 23, 2019 - Phone-based intervention aids rheumatoid arthritis care
February 23, 2019 - Opioid epidemic makes eastern inroads and targets African-Americans
February 23, 2019 - New identified biomarker predicts patients who might benefit from HER2-targeted agents
February 23, 2019 - Study offers new insights into mechanisms of changes in erythrocytes under stress
February 23, 2019 - Antipsychotic polypharmacy may be beneficial for schizophrenia patients
February 23, 2019 - Researchers investigate how marijuana and tobacco co-use affects quit attempts by smokers
February 23, 2019 - Patients with diabetes mellitus have high risk of stable ischemic heart disease
February 23, 2019 - Transparency on healthcare prices played key role in Arizona health system’s turnaround
February 23, 2019 - A comprehensive, multinational review of peppers around the world
February 23, 2019 - Study finds modest decrease in burnout among physicians
February 23, 2019 - A simple change can drastically reduce unnecessary tests for urinary tract infections
February 23, 2019 - Deep Learning-Enhanced Device Detects Diabetic Retinopathy
February 23, 2019 - Researchers discover new binding partner for amyloid precursor protein
February 23, 2019 - Modest decrease seen in burnout among physicians, researchers say | News Center
February 23, 2019 - Transplanting bone marrow of young mice into old mice prevents cognitive decline
February 23, 2019 - Mogrify to accelerate novel IP and cell therapies using $3.7m USD funding
February 23, 2019 - Johns Hopkins study describes cells that may help speed bone repair
February 23, 2019 - Scientists demonstrate influence of food odors on proteostasis
February 23, 2019 - Researchers unlock the secret behind reproduction of fish called ‘Mary’
February 23, 2019 - Acupuncture Could Help Ease Menopausal Symptoms
February 23, 2019 - Researchers use AI to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s
February 23, 2019 - On recovery, vulnerability and ritual: An exhibit in white | News Center
February 23, 2019 - Memory Stored in Unexpected Region of the Brain
February 23, 2019 - Several health experts worldwide gather at EUDONORGAN event
February 23, 2019 - Discovery of potent compound in native California shrub may lead to treatment for Alzheimer’s
February 22, 2019 - Researchers create new map of the brain’s own immune system
February 22, 2019 - ICHE’s reviews on surgical infections, unnecessary urine tests, and nurses’ role in antibiotic stewardship
February 22, 2019 - UK Research and Innovation invests £200 million to create new generation of AI leaders
February 22, 2019 - Takeda collaboration to boost fight against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
February 22, 2019 - Heavy drinking may change DNA, leading to increased craving for alcohol
February 22, 2019 - U.S. opioid deaths jump fourfold in 20 years; epidemic shifts to Eastern states | News Center
February 22, 2019 - 5 Questions with William Turner on Diversity in Medicine
February 22, 2019 - HHS Finalizes Rule Seeking To Expel Planned Parenthood From Family Planning Program
February 22, 2019 - Researchers uncover biochemical pathway that may help identify drugs to treat Alzheimer’s
February 22, 2019 - Biologist uses new grant to find ways to eliminate schistosomiasis
February 22, 2019 - Bag-mask ventilation to help patients breathe during intubation prevents complications
February 22, 2019 - AbbVie Announces New Drug Application Accepted for Priority Review by FDA for Upadacitinib for Treatment of Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
February 22, 2019 - Nature versus nurture and addiction
February 22, 2019 - New website connects researchers with data experts, resources | News Center
February 22, 2019 - Today’s Concerns About Drug Prices Echo The Past
February 22, 2019 - CT and Doppler equipment have low accuracy in detecting cerebral vasospasm and ischemia
February 22, 2019 - Study finds out similarity in function between healthy retina cell and tumor cell
February 22, 2019 - CWRU awarded NIH grant to identify effective treatments for intimate partner violence
February 22, 2019 - Oncotype DX Not Cost-Effective for Low-Risk Breast Cancer
February 22, 2019 - Scientists discover new type of immune cells that are essential for forming heart valves
February 22, 2019 - Talk About Déjà Vu: Senators Set To Re-Enact Drug Price Hearing Of 60 Years Ago
February 22, 2019 - Genetic defect linked to pediatric liver disease identified
February 22, 2019 - New cellular atlas could provide a deeper insight into blinding diseases
February 22, 2019 - Growing number of cancer survivors, fewer providers point to challenge in meeting care needs
February 22, 2019 - Innovative compound offers a new therapeutic approach to treat multiple sclerosis
February 22, 2019 - $1.5 million grant to develop opioid treatment program for jail detainees
February 22, 2019 - FDA’s new proposed rule would update regulatory requirements for sunscreen products in the U.S
February 22, 2019 - Most Hip, Knee Replacements Last Decades, Study Finds
FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Treatment of Refractory or Relapsed Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma (PMBCL)

FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Treatment of Refractory or Relapsed Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma (PMBCL)

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE) June 13, 2018 –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 Keytruda, the company’s anti-PD-1 therapy, for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with refractory primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), or who have relapsed after two or more prior lines of therapy. This indication is approved under the FDA’s accelerated approval regulations based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. Keytruda is not recommended for the treatment of patients with PMBCL who require urgent cytoreductive therapy. With this indication, Keytruda becomes the first anti-PD-1 therapy to be approved for the treatment of PMBCL, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This is the second indication for Keytruda for the treatment of a hematologic malignancy.

“Relapsed or refractory PMBCL is often a challenging disease to treat, and many affected patients are young adults,” said Philippe Armand, M.D., Ph.D., medical oncologist in the Hematologic Oncology Treatment Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “In the clinical trial that supported this approval, treatment with Keytruda resulted in meaningful responses, including complete disease remission in some patients. This approval therefore provides another therapeutic option for patients with PMBCL who have progressed on or after prior therapies.”

Immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred with Keytruda, including pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis, severe skin reactions and solid organ transplant rejection. Based on the severity of the adverse reaction, Keytruda should be withheld or discontinued and corticosteroids administered if appropriate. Immune-mediated complications, including fatal events, occurred in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) after treatment with Keytruda. Follow patients closely for early evidence of transplant-related complications, and intervene promptly. In patients with a history of allogeneic HSCT, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), including fatal GVHD, has been reported after treatment with Keytruda; consider the benefit of Keytruda versus the risk of GVHD. Keytruda can also cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions; for Grade 3 or 4 reactions, stop infusion and permanently discontinue Keytruda. Based on its mechanism of action, Keytruda can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Female patients of reproductive potential should be advised of the potential hazard to a fetus.

“The approval of our anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda, for the treatment of refractory or relapsed PMBCL provides an important therapeutic option for patients who have this rare disease,” said Jonathan Cheng, M.D., vice president, oncology clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories. “This approval reinforces Merck’s commitment to helping patients diagnosed with hematologic cancers and marks the second indication for Keytruda in a hematologic malignancy.”

Data Supporting the Approval

The approval was based on data from KEYNOTE-170, a multicenter, open-label, single-arm trial evaluating Keytruda in 53 patients with relapsed or refractory PMBCL. Patients were not eligible for the trial if they had active non-infectious pneumonitis, allogeneic HSCT within the past five years (or greater than 5 years but with symptoms of GVHD), active autoimmune disease, a medical condition that required immunosuppression, or an active infection requiring systemic therapy. Patients received Keytruda 200 mg every three weeks until unacceptable toxicity or documented disease progression, or for up to 24 months for patients who did not progress. Disease assessments were performed every 12 weeks and assessed by blinded independent central review according to the 2007 revised International Working Group criteria. Efficacy was based on overall response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DOR).

Among the 53 patients accrued in KEYNOTE-170, the baseline characteristics were: median age of 33 years (range, 20 to 61 years); 43 percent were male; 92 percent were White; 43 percent had an ECOG performance status (PS) of 0 and 57 percent had an ECOG PS of 1. The median number of prior lines of therapy administered for the treatment of PMBCL was three (range, 2 to 8). Thirty-six percent had primary refractory disease, 49 percent had relapsed disease refractory to the last prior therapy, and 15 percent had untreated relapse. Twenty-six percent of patients had undergone prior autologous HSCT and 32 percent of patients had prior radiation therapy. All patients had received rituximab as part of a prior line of therapy.

In KEYNOTE-170, the ORR was 45 percent (95% CI, 32, 60), with a complete response rate (CRR) of 11 percent and a partial response rate of 34 percent. Median DOR, based on 24 patients who responded, was not reached (range, 1.1+ to 19.2+ months). For the 24 responders, the median time to first objective response (complete or partial response) was 2.8 months (range, 2.1 to 8.5 months). Median follow-up time was 9.7 months.

Among the 53 patients with PMBCL treated in KEYNOTE-170, Keytruda was discontinued due to adverse reactions in eight percent of patients, and treatment was interrupted due to adverse reactions in 15 percent. Twenty-five percent of patients had an adverse reaction requiring systemic corticosteroid therapy. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 26 percent of patients, and included arrhythmia (4%), cardiac tamponade (2%), myocardial infarction (2%), pericardial effusion (2%) and pericarditis (2%). Six (11%) patients died within 30 days of start of treatment. The most common adverse reactions (occurring in ≥20% of patients) were musculoskeletal pain (30%), upper respiratory tract infection and pyrexia (28% each), cough (26%), fatigue (23%) and dyspnea (21%).

There is limited experience with Keytruda in pediatric patients. Efficacy for pediatric patients with PMBCL was extrapolated from the results in the adult PMBCL population. In a study of 40 pediatric patients with advanced melanoma, lymphoma, or PD-L1 positive advanced, relapsed, or refractory solid tumors, patients were administered Keytruda 2 mg/kg every three weeks. Patients received Keytruda for a median of three doses (range, 1-17 doses), with 34 patients (85%) receiving Keytruda for two doses or more. The safety profile in these pediatric patients was similar to that seen in adults treated with Keytruda. Toxicities that occurred at a higher rate (≥15% difference) in pediatric patients when compared to adults under 65 years of age were fatigue (45%), vomiting (38%), abdominal pain (28%), hypertransaminasemia (28%) and hyponatremia (18%).

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 the Merck Access Program for Keytruda

At Merck, we are committed to supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines. Merck provides multiple programs to help ensure that appropriate patients who are prescribed Keytruda have access to our anti-PD-1 therapy. The Merck Access Program provides reimbursement support for patients receiving Keytruda, including information to help with out-of-pocket costs and co-pay assistance for eligible patients. Merck also offers free product through our patient assistance program to eligible patients, primarily the uninsured, who, without our assistance, could not afford their medicine. More information is available by calling 855-257-3932 or visiting www.merckaccessprogram-keytruda.com.

About Merck’s Patient Support Program for Keytruda

Merck is committed to helping provide patients and their caregivers support throughout their treatment with Keytruda. The KEY+YOU Patient Support Program provides a range of resources and services. For further information and to sign up, patients and physicians may call 85-KEYTRUDA (855-398-7832) or visit www.keytruda.com.

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 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.

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 2017 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).

Source: Merck

Posted: June 2018

Related Articles:

  • FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Previously Treated Patients with Recurrent or Metastatic Cervical Cancer Whose Tumors Express PD-L1 – June 12, 2018
  • FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Previously Treated Patients with Recurrent Locally Advanced or Metastatic Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer Whose Tumors Express PD-L1 – September 22, 2017
  • FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as First Cancer Treatment for any Solid Tumor with a Specific Genetic Feature – May 23, 2017
  • FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Certain Patients with Locally Advanced or Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma – May 18, 2017
  • FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as First-Line Combination Therapy for Patients with Metastatic Nonsquamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), Irrespective of PD-L1 Expression – May 10, 2017
  • FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL) – March 15, 2017
  • FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for First-Line Treatment of Certain Patients with Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer – October 24, 2016
  • FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Patients with Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma – August 5, 2016
  • FDA Approves Expanded Indication for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Advanced Melanoma – December 18, 2015
  • FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer – October 2, 2015
  • FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Advanced Melanoma – September 4, 2014
  • Merck to Present New Data in Five Tumor Types from Studies Evaluating Pembrolizumab – September 2, 2014
  • Merck’s Investigational Anti-PD-1 Antibody, Pembrolizumab, Under Regulatory Review in Europe for Advanced Melanoma – June 30, 2014

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) FDA Approval History

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles