Merck’s Pivotal Phase 3 C-EDGE Program Evaluating Grazoprevir/Elbasvir Shows High Sustained Virologic Responses Across Broad Range of Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection

 VIENNA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the first presentations of data from the company’s ongoing C-EDGE pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial program evaluating the investigational once-daily tablet grazoprevir/elbasvir (100mg/50mg) in patients with or without cirrhosis who are infected with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1, 4 or 6 (GT1, 4 or 6).1 Patients in both the HCV infected, treatment-naïve (C-EDGE TN), and HIV/HCV co-infected, treatment-naïve (C-EDGE CO-INFXN) trials treated for 12 weeks achieved rates of sustained virologic response 12 weeks after the completion of treatment (SVR12) of 95 percent (299/316 and 207/218, respectively). In addition, HCV infected, treatment-experienced patients (C-EDGE TE) treated with or without ribavirin (RBV) for 12 weeks achieved SVR12 rates of 94 percent (98/104) and 92 percent (97/105), respectively, and those treated for 16 weeks achieved SVR12 rates of 97 percent (103/106) and 92 percent (97/105), respectively. These data were presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015 – the 50th annual congress of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (Abstract #G07, E-Poster P0886 and E-Poster P0887). A paper detailing the findings of C-EDGE TN was published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine today.

“Patients with co-morbidities and varying treatment experiences represent important segments of the chronic hepatitis C population in need of additional innovative treatment options,” said Dr. Eric Lawitz, vice president, scientific and research development, The Texas Liver Institute and clinical professor of medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. “These findings are important because they demonstrate that a single pill of grazoprevir/elbasvir taken once-daily achieved consistently high rates of SVR12 in the patient populations studied.”

Summary of SVR12 findings: C-EDGE TN, C-EDGE CO-INFXN, C-EDGE TE
    C-EDGE
TN
  C-EDGE
CO-INFXN
  C-EDGE TE
  Without
RBV
(n=316)
  Without
RBV
(n=218)
  Without
RBV
(n=105)
  With
RBV
(n=104)
  Without
RBV
(n=105)
  With
RBV
(n=106)
Duration   12 weeks   12 weeks   12 weeks   12 weeks   16 weeks   16 weeks
All Patients:   95%   95%   92%   94%   92%   97%
SVR12   (299/316)   (207/218)   (97/105)   (98/104)   (97/105)   (103/106)
Cirrhotic   97%   100%   89%   89%   92%   100%
    (68/70)   (35/35)   (33/37)   (31/35)   (35/38)   (37/37)
Non-cirrhotic   94%   94%   94%   97%   93%   96%
    (231/246)   (172/183)   (64/68)   (67/69)   (62/67)   (66/69)
Genotype 1a   92%   94%   90%   93%   94%   95%
    (144/157)   (136/144)   (55/61)   (56/60)   (45/48)   (55/58)
Genotype 1b or                        
other Genotype   99%   96%   100%   97%   96%   100%
1   (129/131)   (43/45)   (35/35)   (28/29)   (46/48)   (38/38)
Genotype 4   100%   96%   78%   93%   60%   100%
    (18/18)   (27/28)   (7/9)   (14/15)   (3/5)   (8/8)
Genotype 6   80%   100%           75%   100%
    (8/10)   (1/1)   N/A   N/A   (3/4)   (2/2)
                         
“At Merck, we continue to build upon our clinical experience using grazoprevir/elbasvir across diverse populations of patients infected with chronic hepatitis C virus,” said Dr. Eliav Barr, vice president, infectious diseases, Merck Research Laboratories. “We remain on track to submit a New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2015.”

C-EDGE TN Overview and Additional Findings
C-EDGE TN is a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of grazoprevir/elbasvir in treatment-naïve patients with or without cirrhosis infected with chronic HCV GT1, 4 or 6 who received therapy for 12 weeks. Patients were randomized to an immediate treatment group that received grazoprevir/elbasvir for 12 weeks or to a deferred treatment group that received placebo for 12 weeks, were followed for an additional four weeks, and then received open label grazoprevir/elbasvir for the next 12 weeks. The primary efficacy analysis included those patients who received immediate treatment with grazoprevir/elbasvir or placebo. Of the 316 patients who received immediate treatment with grazoprevir/elbasvir, 50 percent were infected with GT1a, 42 percent with GT1b, six percent with GT4 and three percent with GT6. Overall, 22 percent of patients had liver cirrhosis.

In this study, virologic failure occurred in 13 patients (4%) in the immediate treatment group, including one virologic breakthrough and 12 virologic relapses. Serious adverse events occurred in nine (3%) and three (3%) patients in the immediate treatment and corresponding placebo arms, respectively; none were considered drug-related. The most common adverse events reported (greater than 5% incidence) in the immediate treatment and corresponding placebo groups, were headache (17%, 18%), fatigue (16%, 17%), nausea (9%, 8%) and arthralgia (6%, 6%), respectively.

C-EDGE CO-INFXN Overview and Additional Findings
C-EDGE CO-INFXN is an open label, single-arm study evaluating the efficacy and safety of grazoprevir/elbasvir in treatment-naïve patients with or without cirrhosis infected with chronic HCV GT1, 4 or 6 and HIV who received therapy for 12 weeks. Of the 218 patients enrolled in the trial, 66 percent were infected with HCV GT1a, 21 percent with GT1b or other GT1, 13 percent with GT4, and one percent with GT6. Overall, 16 percent of patients had liver cirrhosis.
In this study, virologic failure occurred in seven patients (3%), including six virologic relapses and one reinfection. There were no reported drug-related serious adverse events. The most common (greater than 5% incidence) adverse events reported were fatigue (13%), headache (12%) and nausea (9%).

C-EDGE TE Overview and Additional Findings
C-EDGE TE is a randomized study evaluating the efficacy and safety of once-daily grazoprevir/elbasvir with or without twice-daily RBV in treatment-experienced (prior null response, partial response or relapse with peg-interferon/RBV) patients with or without cirrhosis infected with chronic HCV GT1, 4 or 6 who received therapy for 12 weeks or 16 weeks.

12 week arms
 Of the 209 patients randomized to the 12 week arms, 105 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir only and 104 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV. Patients in the grazoprevir/elbasvir only arm comprised 58 percent GT1a, 33 percent GT1b or other GT1 and nine percent GT4. Overall, 35 percent had liver cirrhosis. Among the 104 patients receiving grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV, 58 percent were infected with chronic HCV GT1a, 28 percent GT1b or other GT1, and 14 percent GT4. Overall, 34 percent had liver cirrhosis.

In the grazoprevir/elbasvir only and grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV arms, six patients in each arm (6%) were reported to have virologic relapse. No patients were reported to have virologic breakthrough or rebound. Serious adverse events were reported in four patients in the grazoprevir/elbasvir only arm (4%) and three patients in the grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV arm (3%). The most common (greater than 10% incidence) adverse events reported in the grazoprevir/elbasvir and grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV arms, respectively, were fatigue (19%, 27%), headache (21%, 20%) and nausea (9%, 14%).

16 week arms
Of the 211 patients enrolled in the 16 week arms, 105 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir only and 106 patients received grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV. In the grazoprevir/elbasvir only arm, 46 percent were infected with chronic HCV GT1a, 46 percent with GT1b or other GT1, five percent with GT4 and four percent with GT6. Overall, 36 percent of patients had liver cirrhosis. Among those in the grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV arm, 55 percent were infected with chronic HCV GT1a, 36 percent with GT1b or other GT1, eight percent with GT4, and two percent with GT6. Overall, 35 percent had liver cirrhosis.

Among the patients receiving grazoprevir/elbasvir only, three patients (3%) were reported to have virologic breakthrough or rebound and four patients (4%) were reported to have virologic relapse. No virologic failures occurred in patients receiving grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV. Serious adverse events were reported in three patients in the grazoprevir/elbasvir only arm (3%) and four patients in the grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV arm (4%). The most common (greater than 10% incidence) adverse events reported in the grazoprevir/elbasvir and grazoprevir/elbasvir plus RBV arms, respectively, were fatigue (16%, 30%), headache (19%, 19%) and nausea (4%,17%).

About the C-EDGE Program
C-EDGE is the Phase 3 clinical development program for Merck’s investigational HCV treatment grazoprevir/elbasvir comprising five studies with more than 1,700 patients across more than 25 countries. These studies are evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir in multiple genotypes (GT1, 4 and 6) and diverse patient populations, including difficult-to-treat patients such as: treatment-experienced, patients with cirrhosis, HIV/HCV co-infection, advanced chronic kidney disease, inherited blood disorders, and those receiving opiate substitution therapies.

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