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Merck Advances Oncology Portfolio and Pipeline with New and Long-term Data in Multiple Cancers at ESMO 2020

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced more than 30 abstracts will be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020 from September 19-21. The abstracts span the Company’s clinical program in oncology across several innovative modalities and mechanisms that have the potential to advance treatment across a range of tumor types including biliary tract, lung and urothelial (bladder) cancers.

“Our oncology ambition is to discover innovative therapies with transformative results. The data being presented in urothelial cancer demonstrate this approach in action, where we are seeing promising results for a new first-line maintenance therapeutic option with BAVENCIO® in this form of cancer,” said Luciano Rossetti, Global Head of Research & Development for the Biopharma business of Merck. “In addition, long-term follow-up data in advanced lung cancer from two of our in-house developed mechanisms—our oral MET inhibitor, tepotinib, and our first-in-class bifunctional fusion protein immunotherapy targeting TGF-β/PD-L1, bintrafusp alfa—continue to show sustained impact in one of the leading causes of cancer mortality.”

Key data highlights at ESMO

Avelumab (BAVENCIO®)

Phase III JAVELIN Bladder 100 (Presentations #699O; 704MO; 745P). Primary results from the JAVELIN Bladder 100 study demonstrated an overall survival (OS) benefit for BAVENCIO vs. best supportive care in the first-line maintenance treatment of advanced urothelial carcinoma, making BAVENCIO the first and only immunotherapy to significantly prolong OS in this setting. Three new abstracts from the JAVELIN Bladder 100 study will be presented at ESMO:

  • An oral presentation during the Proffered Paper 1 – GU, non-prostate session scheduled on September 19, 2020 at 5:28pm–5:40pm CEST/11:28am-11:40am EDT, will highlight associations between clinical outcomes and exploratory biomarkers (Presentation #699O)
  • Two other abstracts provide more information on prespecified subgroup analyses, as well as patient-reported outcomes.

Phase III JAVELIN Head and Neck 100 (Presentation #910O). Primary results from this Phase III study will be presented. The study is a demonstration of our commitment to develop options for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and the results increase understanding in the field of the role of immunotherapy.

Tepotinib

Phase II VISION (Presentations: #1283P; 1286P; 1347P). Three posters from the largest study in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring METex14 skipping treated with tepotinib—an oral, once-daily, highly-selective MET inhibitor. Data presented will highlight:

  • Durable clinical activity that has been consistent across clinically relevant subgroups both in treatment-naïve and in previously treated patients as well as in patients with brain metastases as assessed by liquid biopsy or tissue biopsy (Poster #1283P)
  • Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has shown to be maintained, with clinically meaningful delays in the time to deterioration of cough, dyspnea, and chest pain (Poster #1286P)
  • A safety profile consisting of mostly mild-to-moderate adverse events with few treatment discontinuations.

INSIGHT 2 (NSCLC): The INSIGHT 2 study assessing the combination of osimertinib and tepotinib in patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC that has developed resistance to first-line osimertinib treatment due to MET amplification is ongoing and actively recruiting patients (Poster #1415TiP).

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