DARMSTADT, Germany, May 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
-- NOT INTENDED FOR US AND UK BASED MEDIA -
ASCO Abstract # Avelumab*: 3023, 3044, 3055, TPS9086, TPS3101, 4042, 4047, 5509, 8034; evofosfamide: TPS9089, 8579; tepotinib: 2591; tecemotide[*]: 3036.
- New data on priority candidates from Merck's oncology and immuno-oncology
pipeline are being presented, including avelumab, evofosfamide and tepotinib
Merck will be presenting data at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), held in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., from May 29 to June 2, 2015. The data embody the company's focus on cancers that are particularly difficult to treat and the ultimate goal to provide treatments that help to prolong patients' lives.
"We are focused on shedding light on difficult-to-treat cancers, such as soft tissue sarcomas and Merkel cell carcinoma, in order to make a meaningful difference for patients," said Luciano Rossetti, Head of Global Research and Development, Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck. "Our data at ASCO 2015 demonstrate our commitment to deliver innovation, through our internal expertise and capabilities, and through strategic collaborations to advance differentiated new therapies for these cancers."
Illumination and Innovation in Difficult-to-Treat Cancers
Through a bold, science-focused and patient-driven approach, Merck aims to discover and develop new therapies in cancers such as ovarian cancer, metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Highlights from this year's ASCO include data from the investigational fully human anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody avelumab (also known as MSB0010718C), the investigational c-Met inhibitor tepotinib (also known as MSC2156119J), and evofosfamide (previously known as TH-302), an investigational hypoxia-activated prodrug.
Abstracts are currently available on the ASCO website [http://abstracts.asco.org ].
Collaborating to Tackle Cancer's Most Challenging Issues
Merck and Pfizer are collaborating on up to 20 high priority immuno-oncology clinical development programs focused on the therapeutic potential of avelumab which was initially discovered and developed by Merck. This is the first time data will be presented jointly on behalf of the alliance, including an oral presentation on ovarian cancer and posters on gastric cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and several other studies in a range of patient populations.
In addition, posters from two Phase II studies will be presented for evofosfamide in multiple myeloma and melanoma. Evofosfamide is being co-developed with Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is currently in Phase III studies for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma and for pancreatic cancer, as well as in a Phase II trial for the treatment of non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.
Precision Medicine to Improve Patient Care
Merck continues to place a strong emphasis on biomarker-driven research with the goal of delivering personalized treatments and improving patient outcomes. The company will be presenting data on tepotinib, from a study evaluating the activity of tepotinib in patients with solid tumors that overexpress c-Met. In addition, new analyses from several independent studies will be presented that will offer further insight into the value of Erbitux(R) (cetuximab) in the treatment of 1st line RAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer.
*Avelumab is the proposed International Nonproprietary Name (INN) for the anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody (MSB0010718C).
[*] In September 2014, Merck discontinued all company-sponsored clinical trials with tecemotide in non-small cell lung cancer worldwide.
Notes to Editors
Accepted abstracts submitted by Merck related to our oncology and immuno-oncology pipeline are listed below. In addition, a number of investigator-sponsored studies have been accepted, including several related to Erbitux and one to avelumab (not listed).