Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) and Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that an external Data Monitoring Committee (eDMC) review of the pivotal Phase 3 ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252 study results evaluating Incyte’s epacadostat in combination with Merck’s KEYTRUDA® in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma determined that the study did not meet the primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival in the overall population compared to KEYTRUDA monotherapy. The study’s second primary endpoint of overall survival also is not expected to reach statistical significance. Based on these results, and at the recommendation of the eDMC, the study will be stopped. The safety profile observed in ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252 was consistent with that observed in previously reported studies of epacadostat in combination with KEYTRUDA.
Incyte and Merck will inform investigators of the results and work with investigators to appropriately conclude the study in a manner consistent with the best interests of each patient. Data from this study will be analyzed and submitted for presentation at an upcoming scientific congress.
“While we are disappointed that this study did not confirm the efficacy of epacadostat in combination with KEYTRUDA in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma, data from ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252, including analyses of an extensive biomarker panel, will contribute to our understanding of the role of IDO1 inhibition in combination with PD-1 antagonists, and may inform our broader epacadostat clinical development program,” said Steven Stein, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Incyte. “We remain dedicated to transforming the treatment of cancer and will continue to explore how IDO1 inhibition and other novel mechanisms can potentially improve outcomes for patients in need.”
”We look forward to sharing the comprehensive data analysis from ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252 with the scientific community at an upcoming medical meeting,” said Roy Baynes, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories. “We thank the patients and their caregivers who participated in the ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252 study.”