Merck (MRK) Receives Positive EU CHMP Opinion for KEYTRUDA as Adjuvant Treatment for Adult and Adolescent Patients With Stage IIB or IIC Melanoma

May 20, 2022 8:15 AM EDT

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Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion recommending approval of KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, as monotherapy for the adjuvant treatment of adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older with stage IIB or IIC melanoma and who have undergone complete resection. Additionally, the CHMP recommended expanding the indications for KEYTRUDA in advanced (unresectable or metastatic) melanoma and stage III melanoma (as adjuvant treatment following complete resection) to include adolescent patients aged 12 years and older.

“Based on the results of the KEYNOTE-716 trial, KEYTRUDA has shown a significant improvement in recurrence-free survival and distant metastasis-free survival for these patients with resected stage IIB or IIC melanoma,” said Dr. Scot Ebbinghaus, vice president, global clinical development, Merck Research Laboratories. “The CHMP’s positive recommendation brings us one step closer to providing patients 12 years and older in the European Union with a new option for resected stage IIB or IIC melanoma that can reduce the risk of their cancer returning.”

The positive opinion was granted based on results from the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-716 trial, which demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in recurrence-free survival with KEYTRUDA compared to placebo (HR=0.65 [95% CI, 0.46-0.92]; p=0. 0.00658) in patients 12 years and older with stage IIB and IIC melanoma following complete resection. Earlier this year, Merck reported that KEYNOTE-716 also met its key secondary endpoint of distant metastasis-free survival. These results will be featured in a late-breaking oral presentation at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting on June 5 (Abstract #LBA9500).

The CHMP’s recommendation will now be reviewed by the European Commission for marketing authorization in the European Union, and a final decision is expected in the second or third quarter of 2022.



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