Grazoprevir/Elbasvir, Merck’s Investigational Chronic Hepatitis C Therapy, Granted FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designations; New Phase 2 and 3 Data in Multiple HCV Patient Types to be Presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2015

Congress Highlights Include Results from Trials in a Wide Range of HCV Patients -- Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease, HIV Co-infection, Cirrhosis, and Prior Treatment Failures
Company Remains on Track for NDA Filing with the U.S. FDA During First Half of 2015 

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, today announced that grazoprevir/elbasvir, an investigational single tablet regimen for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, has received two new Breakthrough Therapy designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with chronic HCV genotype 4 (GT4) infection, and for the treatment of chronic HCV genotype 1 (GT1) infection in patients with end stage renal disease on hemodialysis. Additionally, the company announced presentations from the broad grazoprevir/elbasvir development program at the upcoming International Liver Congress™. A total of 14 abstracts from studies evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir are scheduled to be presented, including three from the company’s ongoing Phase 3 pivotal C-EDGE program, one from the pivotal Phase 2b/3 C-SURFER study, and seven from ongoing or completed Phase 2 studies. The range of data to be presented underscores the company’s ongoing commitment to developing an all-oral regimen with wide application across diverse patient populations. The International Liver Congress™ 2015 – the 50th annual congress of the European Association for the Study of the Liver – is scheduled to take place at the Reed Messe Convention Center, Vienna, Austria, from April 22 – 26, 2015.

“HCV remains a global public health epidemic. At Merck, we are focused on the development of an efficacious, well-tolerated, once-daily therapy that can be used to treat multiple genotypes and a diverse population of chronic HCV patients,” said Dr. Eliav Barr, vice president, infectious diseases, Merck Research Laboratories. “Our clinical program is among the largest and most comprehensive, with studies dedicated to patient populations where significant unmet medical need still exists, such as prior treatment failures, as well as those living with co-morbid conditions, including HIV infection, chronic kidney disease and individuals on opiate substitution therapy.”

In October 2013, the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation for grazoprevir/elbasvir for the treatment of patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 (GT1). In January 2015, the FDA notified Merck of its intention to rescind that Breakthrough Therapy designation. The FDA has now granted two new Breakthrough Therapy designations for grazoprevir/elbasvir; the designations are now for the treatment of patients infected with chronic HCV GT1 with end stage renal disease on hemodialysis, and patients infected with chronic HCV genotype 4 (GT4). Breakthrough Therapy designation is intended to expedite the development and review of a candidate that is planned for use, alone or in combination, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition when preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints.

At The International Liver Congress 2015™, key data presentations will include:
  • Primary results from the C-EDGE program, Phase 3 clinical trials evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir (with and without ribavirin) across multiple HCV genotypes (1, 4 and 6) and diverse patient populations, including those difficult to treat, over a 12-week treatment duration
    • C-EDGE TN in treatment-naïve patients; Oral presentation, General Session 2 & Award 1, Abstract #G07, Friday, April 24, 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. CEST
    • C-EDGE CO-INFXN in patients with HCV/HIV co-infection; E-poster #P0887, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
    • C-EDGE TE in treatment-experienced (prior peg-interferon/ribavirin treatment failures); E-poster #P0886, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
  • First results from C-SURFER, a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir (without ribavirin) in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients with HCV genotype 1 infection and advanced chronic kidney disease
    • Late-breaking E-poster #LP02, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
  • Results from C-SALVAGE, a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir (with and without ribavirin) for chronic HCV in genotype 1 infection after failure of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy, including boceprevir, telaprevir, or simeprevir
    • Oral presentation, Viral Hepatitis C Therapy session, Abstract #O001, Thursday, April 23, 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. CEST
  • Results from C-SWIFT, a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating shorter treatment durations (4, 6, 8 and 12 weeks) of grazoprevir/elbasvir plus sofosbuvir in treatment-naïve, treatment-experienced/prior treatment failure/null-response, cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients with genotype 1 or 3 infection
    • Oral presentation, Viral Hepatitis C Therapy session, Abstract #O006, Thursday, April 23, 5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. CEST
  • Phase 2 efficacy and safety results from the C-SALT clinical trial, evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir in genotype 1 infected patients with Child-Pugh class B cirrhosis
    • Oral presentation, Viral Hepatitis C Therapy session, Abstract #O008, Thursday, April 23, 5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CEST
  • Results from C-WORTHy, a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating treatment with grazoprevir/elbasvir (with or without ribavirin) in genotype 1 and 3 infection, and in a variety of patient sub-populations including treatment-naïve, treatment-experienced, cirrhotic, non-cirrhotic, and HIV/HCV co-infected
    • C-WORTHy Part C in treatment-naïve, non-cirrhotic patients with genotype 1b infection; E-poster #P0769, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
    • C-WORTHy Part D in treatment-naïve patients with genotype 3 infection treated with ribavirin; E-poster #P0776, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
    • C-WORTHy resistance analysis of virologic failures in hepatitis C genotype 1 infected patients; E-poster #P0891, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
  • Results from C-SCAPE, a Phase 2 trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of 12 weeks of grazoprevir/elbasvir (with or without ribavirin) in patients with genotype 2, 4, 5 or 6 infection
    • E-poster #P0771, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
  • Results from a Phase 1 study to evaluate the interaction of novel nucleotide inhibitor MK-3682 (formerly IDX21437), with grazoprevir and NS5A inhibitor MK-8408 in healthy subjects
    • E-poster #P0824, Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 a.m. CEST until Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
About Grazoprevir/Elbasvir
Grazoprevir/elbasvir is an investigational, once-daily single tablet regimen consisting of grazoprevir (NS3/4A protease inhibitor) and elbasvir (NS5A replication complex inhibitor). As part of Merck’s broad clinical trials program, grazoprevir/elbasvir is being studied in multiple HCV genotypes and in patients with difficult-to-treat conditions such as HIV/HCV co-infection, advanced chronic kidney disease, inherited blood disorders, cirrhosis and those on opiate substitution therapy.

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