Merck Showcases Depth of MS Portfolio at ECTRIMS Supporting Commitment to Advancing MS Care
Company’s scientific leadership will be highlighted in 39 abstracts presented across its multiple sclerosis (MS) portfolio
Data on investigational BTK inhibitor evobrutinib demonstrate long-term disease stability in people living with relapsing MS (RMS)
Phase IV study highlights improvement in measures of Quality of Life in people living with RMS after two years of treatment with MAVENCLAD® (cladribine tablets)
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“Multiple sclerosis has a profound impact on quality of life and improving this through therapy is often the most important outcome for people living with MS,” said Gavin Giovannoni, Professor of Neurology, Queen Mary University of London. “The data presented at ECTRIMS further substantiate the therapeutic benefit of MAVENCLAD by improving Quality of Life measures over two years, combined with new evidence that the early effect on MRI lesions is maintained over that period.”
In the final analysis of the open-label, single-arm, multicenter, Phase IV CLARIFY-MS study, statistically significant (p≤0.0001) improvements from baseline were observed for Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 (MSQoL-54) physical and mental health composite scores (mean changes of 4.86 and 4.80, respectively; p<0.0001). Changes in MSQoL-54 composite scores were consistent across treatment naïve and prior disease-modifying treatment (DMT) subgroups. Annualized relapse rate was 0.13 in all patients (0.08 in patients who had not received DMT prior to receiving MAVENCLAD) and median EDSS was unchanged over two years. No new safety concerns emerged.
Also to be presented are new MRI outcomes data from the Phase IV MAGNIFY-MS study, which demonstrated an onset of action from Month 2 with sustained reduction in MRI lesion counts maintained out to two years in people with highly active RMS treated with MAVENCLAD. The proportion of lesion-free patients increased from 47% at baseline to 86.2% at the end of the study (Month 18-24). In the study, MRI lesions at baseline were compared over multiple time periods, from initial screening to Month 24. Over the two years, the benefit:risk profile of MAVENCLAD remained unchanged and in line with observations made during the clinical trial program.
Additionally, updated post-approval safety data will be presented based on an analysis of 56,300 patients who received MAVENCLAD post-approval, representing 95,664 patient-years of experience, as of July 2022. The study found the safety profile of MAVENCLAD is consistent with findings from the clinical development program and the CLARIFY-MS and MAGNIFY-MS studies.
“The breadth of our data at ECTRIMS exemplifies our commitment to pushing forward scientific innovation with the development of evobrutinib, while generating new, meaningful data to demonstrate the safety profile and effectiveness of MAVENCLAD,” said Jan Klatt, Senior Vice President, Head of Development Unit Neurology & Immunology at Merck. “Our goal is to ensure people living with MS, and those who treat them, have the information they need to manage their MS today and in the future.”
Beyond the MAVENCLAD and evobrutinib data presented, Merck will have several Company events, along with additional data from its MS portfolio at ECTRIMS 2022.
Company activities at ECTRIMS 2022:
· “Connecting the dots: immune cells and CNS inflammation” co-chaired by Professor Gavin Giovannoni, MBBCh, PhD, FCP (Neurol., SA), FRCP, FRCPath, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK, and Celia Oreja-Guevara, MD, PhD, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain (October 26, 2022, 13:15-14:15 CEST)
· “New tools for new challenges in multiple sclerosis” chaired by Stephen Krieger, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, USA (October 28, 2022, 14:15-15:15 CEST)
· Product Theater: Early Experience with MAVENCLAD by Ravi Dukkipati, MD, WellSpan Neurology, York, PA, USA
To keep up to date with our activities at ECTRIMS along with future data and information, visit merckneurology.com/newsroom or follow us on Twitter @MerckHealthcare and LinkedIn: Healthcare Business of Merck
Below is the full list of Merck-related abstracts accepted for presentation at ECTRIMS 2022:
(To view the table, please visit https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221025005205/en/)
Evobrutinib is an oral, highly selective CNS-penetrant inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) in clinical development as a potential treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS). It is the first BTK inhibitor to demonstrate clinical efficacy in the largest Phase II study with follow-up beyond three years as well as demonstrate an impact on early biomarkers of ongoing central inflammation that correlate with disease progression. Evobrutinib is designed to modulate B cell responses such as proliferation and antibody and cytokine release, as well as modulate macrophage/microglia activation. It significantly reduced SEL volume and levels of blood NfL, markers of ongoing central inflammation and neurodegeneration that predict long-term disability. Evobrutinib was optimized for efficacy through the most comprehensive BTK inhibitor dose-finding study in RMS which demonstrated 75mg twice-daily dosing achieves maximal efficacy across endpoints by sustaining BTK inhibition throughout the dosing interval (>95% BTK occupancy maintained in 98% of patients before next dose). It is currently under clinical investigation and is not approved for any use anywhere in the world.
MAVENCLAD, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 29, 2019, is the first and only short-course oral therapy for the treatment of adults with relapsing-remitting disease (RRMS) and active secondary progressive disease (SPMS). Because of its safety profile, use of MAVENCLAD is generally recommended for patients who have had an inadequate response to, or are unable to tolerate, an alternate drug indicated for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), and MAVENCLAD is not recommended for use in patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). Patients should follow healthcare provider instructions including cancer screening, contraception and blood tests. The approved dose of MAVENCLAD is 3.5 mg per kg body weight over two years, administered as one treatment course of 1.75 mg per kg per year, each consisting of two treatment weeks. The mechanism by which cladribine exerts its therapeutic effects in patients with multiple sclerosis has not been fully elucidated but is thought to involve cytotoxic effects on B and T lymphocytes through impairment of DNA synthesis, resulting in depletion of lymphocytes. MAVENCLAD causes a dose-dependent reduction in lymphocyte counts followed by recovery.
Because cladribine is cytotoxic, special handling and disposal instructions should be followed.
MAVENCLAD has been approved in over 80 countries, including the European Union (EU), Canada, Australia and Switzerland, for various relapsing MS indications. Visit www.MAVENCLAD.com for more information.
Rebif (interferon beta-1a) is indicated for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults. It is used to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system and is the most common non-traumatic, disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated that approximately 2.8 million people have MS worldwide. While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.
Merck in Neurology and Immunology
Merck has a long-standing legacy in neurology and immunology, with significant R&D and commercial experience in multiple sclerosis (MS). The company’s current MS portfolio includes two products for the treatment of relapsing MS - Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) and MAVENCLAD® (cladribine tablets). Merck aims to improve the lives of patients by addressing areas of unmet medical needs. In addition to Merck’s commitment to MS, the company also has a pipeline focusing on discovering new therapies that have potential in other neuroinflammatory and immune-mediated diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD).
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