Merck Submits U.S. New Drug Application for Grazoprevir/Elbasvir, an Investigational Once-Daily, Single Tablet Combination Therapy, for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Genotypes 1, 4, and 6 Infection

KENILWORTH, N.J.--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the company has submitted a New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for grazoprevir/elbasvir (100mg/50mg), an investigational once-daily, single tablet combination therapy for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C genotypes (GT) 1, 4 or 6 infection. Within 60 days of submission, the FDA will determine whether it will accept for review Merck's application as filed. The company plans to submit additional license applications in the European Union and other markets by the end of 2015.

"Merck's submission is based on evidence from our wide-ranging clinical program assessing the efficacy and tolerability profile of grazoprevir/elbasvir in populations with chronic hepatitis C," said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president of clinical development, Merck Research Laboratories. "This submission to the U.S. FDA is an important milestone as we seek to provide patients with a new treatment option for this serious infection."

The FDA has previously granted Breakthrough Therapy designation status for grazoprevir/elbasvir for the treatment of patients infected with chronic HCV GT1 with end stage renal disease on hemodialysis, and for patients infected with chronic HCV 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.

The New Drug Application for grazoprevir/elbasvir (100mg/50mg) is based in part upon data from the pivotal C-EDGE clinical trials program, as well as the C-SURFER and C-SALVAGE trials, evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir (100mg/50mg), with or without ribavirin, in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Data from these trials were presented at The International Liver CongressTM2015 in April 2015.

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, liver cirrhosis and those on opiate substitution therapy.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. 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. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on TwitterFacebook and YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release 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 Merck'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; Merck'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 Merck patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as required by applicable law. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2014 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).

Contact:

Merck
Media:
Doris Li, 908-246-5701
or
Sarra Herzog, 908-740-1871
or
Investors:
Joe Romanelli, 908-740-1986
or
Justin Holko, 908-740-1879

 

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