FDA Grants Priority Review to Mercks Supplemental Biologics License Application for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
accepted and granted priority review for a new supplemental Biologics
License Application (sBLA) seeking approval for KEYTRUDA, Merck’s
anti-PD-1 therapy, as a treatment for previously treated patients with
advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This sBLA, which is seeking
accelerated approval for this new indication, is based on data from the
Phase 2 KEYNOTE-224 trial, which were recently presented at the 2018
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting and
published simultaneously in The Lancet Oncology. The FDA has set
a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), or target action, date of Nov.
9, 2018.

“There continues to be a significant need for new options in the
treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common
type of liver cancer,” said Dr. Scot Ebbinghaus, vice president,
clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories. “The data supporting our
application provide a clear rationale for the advancement of the
KEYTRUDA clinical program for hepatocellular carcinoma, and we are
grateful for the opportunity to work with the FDA to potentially bring
KEYTRUDA to patients living with this difficult-to-treat cancer.”

Merck’s broad immuno-oncology clinical development program includes more
than 10 Merck-sponsored studies investigating KEYTRUDA in
gastrointestinal cancers, including HCC. In addition to KEYNOTE-224,
Merck has two ongoing pivotal Phase 3 studies, KEYNOTE-240 and
KEYNOTE-394, evaluating KEYTRUDA as monotherapy in second-line HCC, as
well as ongoing trials investigating KEYTRUDA in combination with other
treatments including LENVIMA.

About Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer
in adults. In the U.S., the incidence of liver cancer has more than
tripled since 1980, and it is estimated that 42,200 new cases of liver
cancer will be diagnosed this year. Risk factors for liver cancer
include gender, ethnicity, chronic viral hepatitis (Hep-B or Hep-C)
infection, cirrhosis, alcohol use and metabolic syndrome. Hepatocellular
carcinoma – which is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage – has one
of the highest mortality rates of solid cancers, with a five-year
survival rate of less than 15 percent.

About KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) Injection,
100mg

KEYTRUDA is an anti-PD-1 therapy that works by increasing the ability of
the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells. KEYTRUDA
is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between
PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, thereby activating T lymphocytes
which may affect both tumor cells and healthy cells.

Merck has the industry’s largest immuno-oncology clinical research
program, which currently involves more than 750 trials studying KEYTRUDA
across a wide variety of cancers and treatment settings. The KEYTRUDA
clinical program seeks to understand the role of KEYTRUDA across cancers
and the factors that may predict a patient’s likelihood of benefitting
from treatment with KEYTRUDA, including exploring several different
biomarkers.

KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) Indications and Dosing

Melanoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with unresectable or
metastatic melanoma at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until
disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Lung Cancer

KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is indicated for the first-line treatment
of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose
tumors have high PD-L1 expression [tumor proportion score (TPS) ?50%] as
determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor
aberrations.

KEYTRUDA, as a single agent, is also indicated for the treatment of
patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1 (TPS ?1%) as
determined by an FDA-approved test, with disease progression on or after
platinum-containing chemotherapy. Patients with EGFR or ALK genomic
tumor aberrations should have disease progression on FDA-approved
therapy for these aberrations prior to receiving KEYTRUDA.

KEYTRUDA, in combination with pemetrexed and carboplatin, is indicated
for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic nonsquamous
NSCLC. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on
tumor response rate and progression-free survival. Continued approval
for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description
of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.

In metastatic NSCLC, KEYTRUDA is administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg
every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or
up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.

When administering KEYTRUDA in combination with chemotherapy, KEYTRUDA
should be administered prior to chemotherapy when given on the same day.
See also the Prescribing Information for pemetrexed and carboplatin.

Head and Neck Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or
metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with disease
progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy. This
indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor
response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this
indication may be contingent upon verification and description of
clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials. In HNSCC, KEYTRUDA is
administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease
progression, unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients
without disease progression.

Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients
with refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), or who have relapsed
after three or more prior lines of therapy. This indication is approved
under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability
of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent
upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the
confirmatory trials. In adults with cHL, KEYTRUDA is administered at a
fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression or
unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease
progression. In pediatric patients with cHL, KEYTRUDA is administered at
a dose of 2 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 200 mg) every three weeks until
disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in
patients without disease progression.

Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients
with refractory primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), or
who have relapsed after 2 or more prior lines of therapy. This
indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor
response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this
indication may be contingent upon verification and description of
clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. KEYTRUDA is not recommended for
the treatment of patients with PMBCL who require urgent cytoreductive
therapy.

In adults with PMBCL, KEYTRUDA is administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg
every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or
up to 24 months in patients without disease progression. In pediatric
patients with PMBCL, KEYTRUDA is administered at a dose of 2 mg/kg (up
to a maximum of 200 mg) every three weeks until disease progression or
unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease
progression.

Urothelial Carcinoma

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally
advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) who are not eligible
for cisplatin-containing chemotherapy and whose tumors express PD-L1
[Combined Positive Score (CPS) ?10], or in patients who are not eligible
for any platinum-containing chemotherapy regardless of PD-L1 status.
This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor
response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this
indication may be contingent upon verification and description of
clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.

KEYTRUDA is also indicated for the treatment of patients with locally
advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) who have disease
progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or
within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with
platinum-containing chemotherapy.

In locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, KEYTRUDA is
administered at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease
progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients
without disease progression.

Microsatellite Instability-High (MSI-H) Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients
with unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H)
or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR)

This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor
response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this
indication may be contingent upon verification and description of
clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials. The safety and
effectiveness of KEYTRUDA in pediatric patients with MSI-H central
nervous system cancers have not been established.

In adult patients with MSI-H cancer, KEYTRUDA is administered at a fixed
dose of 200 mg every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable
toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression. In
children with MSI-H cancer, KEYTRUDA is administered at a dose of 2
mg/kg (up to a maximum of 200 mg) every three weeks until disease
progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients
without disease progression.

Gastric Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent
locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction
(GEJ) adenocarcinoma whose tumors express PD-L1 [Combined Positive Score
(CPS) ?1] as determined by an FDA-approved test, with disease
progression on or after two or more prior lines of therapy including
fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy and if
appropriate, HER2/neu-targeted therapy. This indication is approved
under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability
of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent
upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the
confirmatory trials. The recommended dose of KEYTRUDA is a fixed dose of
200 mg every three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable
toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.

Cervical Cancer

KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with recurrent or
metastatic cervical cancer with disease progression on or after
chemotherapy whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS ?1) as determined by an
FDA-approved test. This indication is approved under accelerated
approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response.
Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon
verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory
trials. The recommended dose of KEYTRUDA is a fixed dose of 200 mg every
three weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or up to 24
months in patients without disease progression.

Selected Important Safety Information for KEYTRUDA

KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis, including fatal cases.
Pneumonitis occurred in 94 (3.4%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA,
including Grade 1 (0.8%), 2 (1.3%), 3 (0.9%), 4 (0.3%), and 5 (0.1%)
pneumonitis, and occurred more frequently in patients with a history of
prior thoracic radiation (6.9%) compared to those without (2.9%).
Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of pneumonitis. Evaluate
suspected pneumonitis with radiographic imaging. Administer
corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater pneumonitis. Withhold KEYTRUDA
for Grade 2; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 3 or 4 or
recurrent Grade 2 pneumonitis.

KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated colitis. Colitis occurred in 48
(1.7%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.4%), 3
(1.1%), and 4 (<0.1%) colitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms
of colitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater colitis.
Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2 or 3; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for
Grade 4 colitis.

KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Hepatitis occurred in 19
(0.7%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.1%), 3
(0.4%), and 4 (<0.1%) hepatitis. Monitor patients for changes in liver
function. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater hepatitis
and, based on severity of liver enzyme elevations, withhold or
discontinue KEYTRUDA.

KEYTRUDA can cause hypophysitis. Hypophysitis occurred in 17 (0.6%) of
2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.2%), 3 (0.3%),
and 4 (<0.1%) hypophysitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of
hypophysitis (including hypopituitarism and adrenal insufficiency).
Administer corticosteroids and hormone replacement as clinically
indicated. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; withhold or discontinue for
Grade 3 or 4 hypophysitis.

KEYTRUDA can cause thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism,
hypothyroidism, and thyroiditis. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 96 (3.4%)
of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.8%) and 3
(0.1%) hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurred in 237 (8.5%) of 2799
patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (6.2%) and 3 (0.1%)
hypothyroidism. The incidence of new or worsening hypothyroidism was
higher in patients with HNSCC, occurring in 28 (15%) of 192 patients
with HNSCC, including Grade 3 (0.5%) hypothyroidism. Thyroiditis
occurred in 16 (0.6%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including
Grade 2 (0.3%) thyroiditis. Monitor patients for changes in thyroid
function (at the start of treatment, periodically during treatment, and
as indicated based on clinical evaluation) and for clinical signs and
symptoms of thyroid disorders. Administer replacement hormones for
hypothyroidism and manage hyperthyroidism with thionamides and
beta-blockers as appropriate. Withhold or discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade
3 or 4 hyperthyroidism.

KEYTRUDA can cause type 1 diabetes mellitus, including diabetic
ketoacidosis, which have been reported in 6 (0.2%) of 2799 patients.
Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of
diabetes. Administer insulin for type 1 diabetes, and withhold KEYTRUDA
and administer antihyperglycemics in patients with severe hyperglycemia.

KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Nephritis occurred in 9
(0.3%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.1%), 3
(0.1%), and 4 (<0.1%) nephritis. Monitor patients for changes in renal
function. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater nephritis.
Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for
Grade 3 or 4 nephritis.

Immune-mediated rashes, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic
epidermal necrolysis (TEN) (some cases with fatal outcome), exfoliative
dermatitis, and bullous pemphigoid, can occur. Monitor patients for
suspected severe skin reactions and based on the severity of the adverse
reaction, withhold or permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA and administer
corticosteroids. For signs or symptoms of SJS or TEN, withhold KEYTRUDA
and refer the patient for specialized care for assessment and treatment.
If SJS or TEN is confirmed, permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA.

Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can
occur in any organ system or tissue in patients receiving KEYTRUDA.
While immune-mediated adverse reactions usually occur during treatment
with PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies, they may occur after
discontinuation of treatment. For suspected immune-mediated adverse
reactions, ensure adequate evaluation to confirm etiology or exclude
other causes. Based on the severity of the adverse reaction, withhold
KEYTRUDA and administer corticosteroids. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or
less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least
1 month. Based on limited data from clinical studies in patients whose
immune-related adverse reactions could not be controlled with
corticosteroid use, administration of other systemic immunosuppressants
can be considered. Resume KEYTRUDA when the adverse reaction remains at
Grade 1 or less following corticosteroid taper. Permanently discontinue
KEYTRUDA for any Grade 3 immune-mediated adverse reaction that recurs
and for any life-threatening immune-mediated adverse reaction.

The following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions
occurred in less than 1% (unless otherwise indicated) of 2799 patients:
arthritis (1.5%), uveitis, myositis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myasthenia
gravis, vasculitis, pancreatitis, hemolytic anemia, sarcoidosis, and
encephalitis. In addition, myelitis and myocarditis were reported in
other clinical trials, including cHL, and postmarketing use.

Solid organ transplant rejection has been reported in postmarketing use
of KEYTRUDA. Treatment with KEYTRUDA may increase the risk of rejection
in solid organ transplant recipients. Consider the benefit of treatment
with KEYTRUDA vs the risk of possible organ rejection in these patients.

KEYTRUDA can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related
reactions, including hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis, which have been
reported in 6 (0.2%) of 2799 patients. Monitor patients for signs and
symptoms of infusion-related reactions, including rigors, chills,
wheezing, pruritus, flushing, rash, hypotension, hypoxemia, and fever.
For Grade 3 or 4 reactions, stop infusion and permanently discontinue
KEYTRUDA.

Immune-mediated complications, including fatal events, occurred in
patients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell
transplantation (HSCT) after treatment with KEYTRUDA. Of 23 patients
with cHL who proceeded to allogeneic HSCT after KEYTRUDA, 6 developed
graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (one fatal case), and 2 developed
severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced-intensity
conditioning (one fatal case). Cases of fatal hyperacute GVHD after
allogeneic HSCT have also been reported in patients with lymphoma who
received a PD-1 receptor–blocking antibody before transplantation.
Follow patients closely for early evidence of transplant-related
complications such as hyperacute GVHD, Grade 3 to 4 acute GVHD,
steroid-requiring febrile syndrome, hepatic VOD, and other
immune-mediated adverse reactions, and intervene promptly.

In patients with a history of allogeneic HSCT, acute GVHD, including
fatal GVHD, has been reported after treatment with KEYTRUDA. Patients
who experienced GVHD after their transplant procedure may be at
increased risk for GVHD after KEYTRUDA. Consider the benefit of KEYTRUDA
vs the risk of GVHD in these patients.

In clinical trials in patients with multiple myeloma, the addition of
KEYTRUDA to a thalidomide analogue plus dexamethasone resulted in
increased mortality. Treatment of these patients with a PD-1 or PD-L1
blocking antibody in this combination is not recommended outside of
controlled clinical trials.

Based on its mechanism of action, KEYTRUDA can cause fetal harm when
administered to a pregnant woman. If used during pregnancy, or if the
patient becomes pregnant during treatment, apprise the patient of the
potential hazard to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to
use highly effective contraception during treatment and for 4 months
after the last dose of KEYTRUDA.

In KEYNOTE-006, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 9%
of 555 patients with advanced melanoma; adverse reactions leading to
discontinuation in more than one patient were colitis (1.4%), autoimmune
hepatitis (0.7%), allergic reaction (0.4%), polyneuropathy (0.4%), and
cardiac failure (0.4%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of
KEYTRUDA occurred in 21% of patients; the most common (?1%) was diarrhea
(2.5%). The most common adverse reactions with KEYTRUDA vs ipilimumab
were fatigue (28% vs 28%), diarrhea (26% with KEYTRUDA), rash (24% vs
23%), and nausea (21% with KEYTRUDA). Corresponding incidence rates are
listed for ipilimumab only for those adverse reactions that occurred at
the same or lower rate than with KEYTRUDA.

In KEYNOTE-010, KEYTRUDA monotherapy was discontinued due to adverse
reactions in 8% of 682 patients with metastatic NSCLC. The most common
adverse event resulting in permanent discontinuation of KEYTRUDA was
pneumonitis (1.8%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of
KEYTRUDA occurred in 23% of patients; the most common (?1%) were
diarrhea (1%), fatigue (1.3%), pneumonia (1%), liver enzyme elevation
(1.2%), decreased appetite (1.3%), and pneumonitis (1%). The most common
adverse reactions (occurring in at least 20% of patients and at a higher
incidence than with docetaxel) were decreased appetite (25% vs 23%),
dyspnea (23% vs 20%), and nausea (20% vs 18%).

In KEYNOTE-021(G1), when KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with
carboplatin and pemetrexed (carbo/pem) in advanced nonsquamous NSCLC,
KEYTRUDA was discontinued in 10% of 59 patients. The most common adverse
reaction resulting in discontinuation of KEYTRUDA (?2%) was acute kidney
injury (3.4%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA
occurred in 39% of patients; the most common (?2%) were fatigue (8%),
neutrophil count decreased (8%), anemia (5%), dyspnea (3.4%), and
pneumonitis (3.4%). The most common adverse reactions (?20%) with
KEYTRUDA compared to carbo/pem alone were fatigue (71% vs 50%), nausea
(68% vs 56%), constipation (51% vs 37%), rash (42% vs 21%), vomiting
(39% vs 27%), dyspnea (39% vs 21%), diarrhea (37% vs 23%), decreased
appetite (31% vs 23%), headache (31% vs 16%), cough (24% vs 18%),
dizziness (24% vs 16%), insomnia (24% vs 15%), pruritus (24% vs 4.8%),
peripheral edema (22% vs 18%), dysgeusia (20% vs 11%), alopecia (20% vs
3.2%), upper respiratory tract infection (20% vs 3.2%), and arthralgia
(15% vs 24%). This study was not designed to demonstrate a statistically
significant difference in adverse reaction rates for KEYTRUDA as
compared to carbo/pem alone for any specified adverse reaction.

In KEYNOTE-012, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in
17% of 192 patients with HNSCC. Serious adverse reactions occurred in
45% of patients. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported in
at least 2% of patients were pneumonia, dyspnea, confusional state,
vomiting, pleural effusion, and respiratory failure. The most common
adverse reactions (reported in at least 20% of patients) were fatigue,
decreased appetite, and dyspnea. Adverse reactions occurring in patients
with HNSCC were generally similar to those occurring in patients with
melanoma or NSCLC, with the exception of increased incidences of facial
edema (10% all Grades; 2.1% Grades 3 or 4) and new or worsening
hypothyroidism.

In KEYNOTE-087, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 5%
of 210 patients with cHL, and treatment was interrupted due to adverse
reactions in 26% of patients. Fifteen percent (15%) of patients had an
adverse reaction requiring systemic corticosteroid therapy. Serious
adverse reactions occurred in 16% of patients. The most frequent serious
adverse reactions (?1%) included pneumonia, pneumonitis, pyrexia,
dyspnea, GVHD, and herpes zoster. Two patients died from causes other
than disease progression; one from GVHD after subsequent allogeneic HSCT
and one from septic shock. The most common adverse reactions (occurring
in ?20% of patients) were fatigue (26%), pyrexia (24%), cough (24%),
musculoskeletal pain (21%), diarrhea (20%), and rash (20%).

In KEYNOTE-170, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8%
of 53 patients with PMBCL, and treatment was interrupted due to adverse
reactions in 15%. Twenty-five percent (25%) of patients had an adverse
reaction requiring systemic corticosteroid therapy. Serious adverse
reactions occurred in 26% of patients and included: arrhythmia (4%),
cardiac tamponade (2%), myocardial infarction (2%), pericardial effusion
(2%), and pericarditis (2%). Six (11%) patients died within 30 days of
start of treatment. The most common adverse reactions (occurring in ?20%
of patients) were musculoskeletal pain (30%), upper respiratory tract
infection and pyrexia (28% each), cough (26%), fatigue (23%), and
dyspnea (21%).

In KEYNOTE-052, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in
11% of 370 patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial
carcinoma. The most common adverse reactions (in ?20% of patients) were
fatigue (38%), musculoskeletal pain (24%), decreased appetite (22%),
constipation (21%), rash (21%), and diarrhea (20%). Eighteen patients
(5%) died from causes other than disease progression. Five patients
(1.4%) who were treated with KEYTRUDA experienced sepsis which led to
death, and 3 patients (0.8%) experienced pneumonia which led to death.
Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 22% of
patients; the most common (?1%) were liver enzyme increase, diarrhea,
urinary tract infection, acute kidney injury, fatigue, joint pain, and
pneumonia. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 42% of patients, the
most frequent (?2%) of which were urinary tract infection, hematuria,
acute kidney injury, pneumonia, and urosepsis.

In KEYNOTE-045, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8%
of 266 patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial
carcinoma. The most common adverse reaction resulting in permanent
discontinuation of KEYTRUDA was pneumonitis (1.9%). Adverse reactions
leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 20% of patients; the
most common (?1%) were urinary tract infection (1.5%), diarrhea (1.5%),
and colitis (1.1%). The most common adverse reactions (?20%) in patients
who received KEYTRUDA vs those who received chemotherapy were fatigue
(38% vs 56%), musculoskeletal pain (32% vs 27%), pruritus (23% vs 6%),
decreased appetite (21% vs 21%), nausea (21% vs 29%), and rash (20% vs
13%). Serious adverse reactions occurred in 39% of KEYTRUDA-treated
patients, the most frequent (?2%) of which were urinary tract infection,
pneumonia, anemia, and pneumonitis.

In KEYNOTE-158, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8%
of 98 patients (in Cohort E) with recurrent or metastatic cervical
cancer. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 39% of patients receiving
KEYTRUDA. The most frequent serious adverse reactions reported included
anemia (7%), fistula, hemorrhage, and infections [except urinary tract
infections] (4.1% each). The most common adverse reactions (occurring in
?20% of patients) were fatigue (43%), musculoskeletal pain (27%),
diarrhea (23%), pain and abdominal pain (22% each), and decreased
appetite (21%).

It is not known whether KEYTRUDA is excreted in human milk. Because many
drugs are excreted in human milk, instruct women to discontinue nursing
during treatment with KEYTRUDA and for 4 months after the final dose.

There is limited experience in pediatric patients. In a study, 40
pediatric patients (16 children aged 2 years to younger than 12 years
and 24 adolescents aged 12 years to 18 years) with advanced melanoma,
lymphoma, or PD-L1–positive advanced, relapsed, or refractory solid
tumors were administered KEYTRUDA 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Patients
received KEYTRUDA for a median of 3 doses (range 1–17 doses), with 34
patients (85%) receiving 2 doses or more. The safety profile in these
pediatric patients was similar to that seen in adults treated with
KEYTRUDA. Toxicities that occurred at a higher rate (?15% difference) in
these patients when compared to adults under 65 years of age were
fatigue (45%), vomiting (38%), abdominal pain (28%),
hypertransaminasemia (28%), and hyponatremia (18%).

Merck’s Focus on Cancer

Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology
medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck, the potential
to bring new hope to people with cancer drives our purpose and
supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment.

As part of our focus on cancer, Merck is committed to exploring the
potential of immuno-oncology with one of the largest development
programs in the industry across more than 30 tumor types. We also
continue to strengthen our portfolio through strategic acquisitions and
are prioritizing the development of several promising oncology
candidates with the potential to improve the treatment of advanced
cancers.

For more information about our oncology clinical trials, visit www.merck.com/clinicaltrials.

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Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Please see Prescribing Information for KEYTRUDA at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_pi.pdf
and Medication Guide for KEYTRUDA at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_mg.pdf.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180711005195/en/

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