Merck (MRK) Tops Q3 EPS by 8c; Narrows FY16 Outlook
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Merck (NYSE: MRK) reported Q3 EPS of $1.07, $0.08 better than the analyst estimate of $0.99. Revenue for the quarter came in at $10.5 billion versus the consensus estimate of $10.18 billion.
Merck significantly advanced the clinical development program for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), an anti-PD-1 therapy. KEYTRUDA is now approved in the United States for the treatment of previously untreated metastatic NSCLC in patients whose tumors express high levels of PD-L1 (TPS of 50 percent or more) and previously treated metastatic NSCLC in patients whose tumors express PD-L1 (TPS of 1 percent or more), as well as advanced melanoma and previously treated recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer (HNSCC). Earlier this month at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2016 Congress, data were presented from 30 studies evaluating the use of KEYTRUDA as a monotherapy and in combination in 23 cancers.
- Yesterday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two supplemental Biologics License Applications (sBLA) for KEYTRUDA in lung cancer.
- Based on the KEYNOTE-024 study, KEYTRUDA was approved for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression (TPS of 50 percent or more) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations. The data from KEYNOTE-024 were published in The New England Journal of Medicine and highlighted at ESMO.
- The FDA also approved a sBLA to include data from the pivotal KEYNOTE-010 study in which KEYTRUDA showed superior overall survival compared to chemotherapy in patients with previously treated advanced NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1 (TPS of 1 percent or more) as determined by an FDA-approved test.
- Data were presented at ESMO from KEYNOTE-021, Cohort G, showing superior efficacy of KEYTRUDA plus chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone as a first-line treatment for patients with metastatic non-squamous NSCLC regardless of PD-L1 expression. These data were simultaneously published in The Lancet Oncology.
- The European Commission approved KEYTRUDA for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC in patients whose tumors express PD-L1 and who have received at least one prior chemotherapy regimen.
Head and Neck Cancer
- The FDA approved a sBLA for KEYTRUDA for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic HNSCC with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy.
- On Friday the company announced that the KEYNOTE-045 trial investigating the use of KEYTRUDA in patients with previously treated advanced bladder cancer (urothelial cancer) met its primary endpoint. In the study, KEYTRUDA met the primary endpoint of overall survival and was superior compared to investigator choice chemotherapy.
- Interim Phase 2 data were presented at ESMO for the first time investigating the use of KEYTRUDA in previously untreated patients with advanced bladder cancer.
Merck sees FY2016 EPS of $3.71-$3.78, versus the consensus of $3.75. Merck sees FY2016 revenue of $39.7-40.2 billion, versus the consensus of $39.78 billion.
For earnings history and earnings-related data on Merck (MRK) click here.
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