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Merck Announces Pivotal Phase 3 Study of Letermovir Met Primary Endpoint

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE) October 19, 2016 -- Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the pivotal Phase 3 clinical study of letermovir, an investigational antiviral medicine, met its primary endpoint. The global, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study evaluated the efficacy and safety of letermovir for the prevention of clinically-significant cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in adult (18 years and older) CMV-seropositive recipients of an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Merck will submit results from the study for presentation at a future scientific conference.

“There is an unmet need for therapeutic options in the prevention of CMV infection in high-risk allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients,” said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president of clinical development, Merck Research Laboratories. “Merck is pleased this pivotal Phase 3 study with letermovir met its primary endpoint. We thank the patients and families who participated in this study and we look forward to presenting results at a future scientific meeting.”

In the study, letermovir was administered once daily, either in oral tablet or IV formulation. Letermovir was started as early as the day of HSCT transplant and no later than 28 days post-transplant, and continued through approximately 100 days after transplant. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of participants with clinically-significant CMV infection through 24 weeks after transplant. Additional details about the study can be found online at www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02137772.

About Letermovir

Letermovir is an investigational once-daily antiviral medicine under development for the prevention of CMV infection and disease. It is a member of a new class of non-nucleoside CMV inhibitors (3,4 dihydro-quinazolines) and inhibits viral replication by targeting the viral terminase complex. Letermovir has been granted orphan designation by the European Medicines Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the prevention of CMV infection and disease in at-risk populations. Letermovir also has been granted Fast Track designation by the FDA.

Under an agreement signed in 2012, Merck (through a subsidiary) purchased worldwide rights to develop and commercialize letermovir from AiCuris GmbH & Co KG (www.aicuris.com).

About Merck

For 125 years, Merck has been a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Source: Merck & Co., Inc.

Posted: October 2016

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