Berry Consultants

Austin, TX, United States

Berry Consultants

Austin, TX, United States
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KENILWORTH, N.J. & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative, today announced results from the Phase 2 I-SPY 2 TRIAL investigating KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with standard therapy [paclitaxel followed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (AC)] as a neoadjuvant (pre-operative) treatment for patients with locally advanced triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) or hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative (HR+/HER2-) breast cancer. Findings showed that the addition of KEYTRUDA increased the estimated pathologic complete response (pCR) rate nearly threefold in patients with TNBC (60% vs 20%) and in patients with HR+/HER2- breast cancer (34% vs 13%) compared to standard therapy. Overall, based on Bayesian predictive probability of success in a confirmatory Phase 3 trial, KEYTRUDA has graduated from the I-SPY 2 TRIAL for all signatures in which it was tested (TNBC, all HER2-, and HR+/HER2-). Data will be presented today by Dr. Rita Nanda, The University of Chicago, during an oral session at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago (Abstract #506) and will also be presented in subsequent “Best of ASCO” events scheduled throughout the year. “ KEYTRUDA in combination with standard therapy tripled the rate of pathologic complete responses in HER2- patients in the I-SPY 2 Trial,” said Laura J. Esserman, M.D., MBA, professor of surgery and radiology and director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the overall principal investigator for the I-SPY TRIALS. “ The regimen indicates a new and important treatment pathway and gives us well-grounded hope for new options for patients with these aggressive breast cancers – and that’s potentially very good news.” “ We recognize that there is a critical unmet need for patients with certain breast cancer subtypes and believe that combination regimens will be important to advancing patient care,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, vice president of early-stage development, clinical oncology, Merck Research Laboratories. “ The results presented at ASCO, which add to the growing body of evidence for KEYTRUDA in various types of breast cancer, are exciting and demonstrate the potential benefit of KEYTRUDA in these patients.” The I-SPY 2 TRIAL (NCT01042379), sponsored by QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative, is a standing Phase 2 randomized, controlled, multi-center trial for women with newly diagnosed, locally advanced breast cancer (Stage II/III), and is designed to screen promising new treatments and identify which therapies are most effective in specific patient subgroups based on molecular characteristics (biomarker signatures). The trial is an adaptive study design assessing the combination of biologically targeted investigational drugs with standard chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting, compared to standard chemotherapy alone. The primary endpoint is to determine whether the combination of certain therapies increases the probability of pCR in the breast and the lymph nodes at the time of surgery. The data presented at ASCO from the I-SPY 2 TRIAL were based on results observed in patients at high risk of relapse using up-front tumor profiling (including HR status, HER2 status, and the MammaPrint 70-gene signature test). Patients were treated with weekly standard chemotherapy (paclitaxel) for 12 weeks, with or without KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), followed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (AC) every 3 weeks for four cycles. Sixty-nine patients were adaptively randomized to receive KEYTRUDA in the trial from December 2015 until it graduated in November 2016. In total, 46 patients have undergone surgery; the other 23 have on-therapy MRI assessments. In patients with TNBC, an absolute increase in the estimated pCR rate of 40 percent was observed in the KEYTRUDA arm (based on the estimated pCR rate of 60% with KEYTRUDA plus standard therapy compared to 20% with standard therapy alone). In patients with HER2- breast cancer, an absolute increase in the estimated pCR rate of 30 percent was observed in the KEYTRUDA arm (based on the estimated pCR rate of 46% with KEYTRUDA plus standard therapy compared to 16% with standard therapy alone). In patients with HR+/HER2- breast cancer, an absolute increase in the estimated pCR rate of 21 percent was observed in the KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) arm (based on the estimated pCR rate of 34% with KEYTRUDA plus standard therapy compared to 13% with standard therapy alone). The Bayesian model estimated pCR rates appropriately adjust to characteristics of the I-SPY 2 population, including MammaPrint status. The safety profile of KEYTRUDA was consistent with that observed in previously reported studies across tumors. In the KEYTRUDA arm, Grade 3-5 treatment-related adverse events include diarrhea (n=5), febrile neutropenia (n=5), fatigue (n=4), anemia (n=3), nausea (n=3), neutropenia without fever (n=1), peripheral motor neuropathy (n=1), peripheral sensory neuropathy (n=1) and vomiting (n=1). Immune-mediated adverse events of Grade 3-5 include adrenal insufficiency (n=5), hepatitis (n=2), colitis (n=1) and hypothyroidism (n=1). Five of six patients presented with adrenal insufficiency after completion of AC (21-24 weeks after starting KEYTRUDA), and one presented during KEYTRUDA treatment (5 weeks after starting KEYTRUDA). “ Not all breast cancers are the same – and there has continued to be a significant gap in the treatment options available for patients with certain subtypes, particularly TNBC,” said Dr. Rita Nanda, medical oncologist at The University of Chicago. “ The results observed in this trial are not only encouraging, but demonstrate the potential for treatment combinations that can make a difference in patient outcomes.” About I-SPY and the I-SPY 2 TRIAL The I-SPY (Investigation of Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response with Imaging And moLecular Analysis) TRIAL is conducted by a consortium that brings together the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), leading academic medical centers, and patient advocates, as well as Merck and other pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The I-SPY 2 TRIAL is a collaborative effort among academic investigators from 20 major cancer research centers across the U.S. and QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative, the FDA, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Cancer Biomarkers Consortium. Major supporters include The Safeway Foundation and the Bill Bowes Foundation. The I-SPY 2 TRIAL’s adaptive statistical design was developed by the pioneering principal investigators for the I-SPY trial, Laura J. Esserman, M.D., MBA, and Donald A. Berry, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and founder of Berry Consultants in collaboration with the FDA, industry, and many leading academic collaborators including the Agents working group chair (Doug Yee, M.D. from the University of Minnesota) and the Trial Operations working group chair (Angie DeMichele, M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania). The trial is a unique collaborative effort where over 50 clinicians are actively engaged in the conduct of the trial. The I-SPY 2 TRIAL adaptive-trial design is based on Bayesian predictive probability that a biological regimen will be shown to be statistically superior to standard therapy in an equally randomized 300-patient confirmatory trial. Regimens that have a high Bayesian predictive probability of showing superiority in at least one of 10 predefined signatures graduate from the trial. Regimens are dropped for futility if they show a low predictive probability of showing superiority over standard therapy in all 10 signatures. A maximum total of 120 patients can be assigned to each experimental regimen. A regimen can graduate early and at any time after having 60 patients assigned to it. 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. Studies of KEYTRUDA – from the largest immuno-oncology program in the industry with more than 500 trials – include a wide variety of cancers and treatment settings. The KEYTRUDA clinical program seeks to understand factors that predict a patient’s likelihood of benefitting from treatment with KEYTRUDA, including the exploration of several different biomarkers across a broad range of tumors. KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) is administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every three weeks for the approved indications. KEYTRUDA for injection is supplied in a 100 mg single-dose vial. 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. 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. KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) 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. 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. KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who are not eligible for cisplatin-containing chemotherapy. 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 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. KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) 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 pediatric patients 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. 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 (pembrolizumab), 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. 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. KEYTRUDA can cause other clinically important immune-mediated adverse reactions. These immune-mediated reactions may occur in any organ system. 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%), exfoliative dermatitis, bullous pemphigoid, rash (1.4%), uveitis, myositis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myasthenia gravis, vasculitis, pancreatitis, hemolytic anemia, and partial seizures arising in a patient with inflammatory foci in brain parenchyma. In addition, myelitis and myocarditis were reported in other clinical trials, including classical Hodgkin lymphoma, and postmarketing use. Solid organ transplant rejection has been reported in postmarketing use of KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab). 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 being treated with KEYTRUDA. Of 23 patients with cHL who proceeded to allogeneic HSCT after treatment with KEYTRUDA on any trial, 6 patients (26%) developed graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), one of which was fatal, and 2 patients (9%) developed severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced-intensity conditioning, one of which was fatal. 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. These complications may occur despite intervening therapy between PD-1 blockade and allogeneic HSCT. Follow patients closely for early evidence of transplant-related complications such as hyperacute GVHD, severe (Grade 3 to 4) acute GVHD, steroid-requiring febrile syndrome, hepatic VOD, and other immune-mediated adverse reactions, and intervene promptly. 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 (pembrolizumab) 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-002, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 12% of 357 patients with advanced melanoma; the most common (≥1%) were general physical health deterioration (1%), asthenia (1%), dyspnea (1%), pneumonitis (1%), and generalized edema (1%). Adverse reactions leading to interruption of KEYTRUDA occurred in 14% of patients; the most common (≥1%) were dyspnea (1%), diarrhea (1%), and maculopapular rash (1%). The most common adverse reactions with KEYTRUDA vs chemotherapy were fatigue (43% with KEYTRUDA), pruritus (28% vs 8%), rash (24% vs 8%), constipation (22% vs 20%), nausea (22% with KEYTRUDA), diarrhea (20% vs 20%), and decreased appetite (20% with KEYTRUDA). Corresponding incidence rates are listed for chemotherapy only for those adverse reactions that occurred at the same or lower rate than with KEYTRUDA. 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%). When KEYTRUDA was administered in combination with carboplatin and pemetrexed (carbo/pem), 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 (pembrolizumab) as compared to carbo/pem alone for any specified adverse reaction. 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. 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-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 (pembrolizumab)-treated patients, the most frequent (≥2%) of which were urinary tract infection, pneumonia, anemia, and pneumonitis. The most common adverse reactions (reported in ≥20% of patients) were fatigue, pruritus, diarrhea, decreased appetite, rash, pyrexia, cough, dyspnea, musculoskeletal pain, constipation, and nausea. 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. QuantumLeap Healthcare Collaborative, a non-profit foundation, was established in 2005 as a collaboration between medical researchers at University of California at San Francisco, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. QuantumLeap’s mission is to accelerate transfer of high-impact research in clinical processes and systems technology into widespread adoption so that patients and physicians can benefit from the research as soon as practicable. QuantumLeap provides operational, financial and regulatory oversight to I-SPY. For more information, visit: http://www.quantumleaphealth.org. Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck, helping people fight cancer is our passion and supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment. Our focus is on pursuing research in immuno-oncology and we are accelerating every step in the journey – from lab to clinic – to potentially bring new hope to people with cancer. As part of our focus on cancer, Merck is committed to exploring the potential of immuno-oncology with one of the fastest-growing development programs in the industry. We are currently executing an expansive research program that includes more than 500 clinical trials evaluating our anti-PD-1 therapy across more than 30 tumor types. We also continue to strengthen our immuno-oncology portfolio through strategic acquisitions and are prioritizing the development of several promising immunotherapeutic candidates with the potential to improve the treatment of advanced cancers. For more information about our oncology clinical trials, visit www.merck.com/clinicaltrials. For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. 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. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA 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 2016 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). Please see Prescribing Information for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_pi.pdf and


Niemann C.U.,University of California at San Francisco | Feiner J.,University of California at San Francisco | Swain S.,California Transplant Donor Network | Bunting S.,OneLegacy | And 7 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Delayed graft function, which is reported in up to 50% of kidney-transplant recipients, is associated with increased costs and diminished long-term graft function. The effect that targeted mild hypothermia in organ donors before organ recovery has on the rate of delayed graft function is unclear. METHODS: We enrolled organ donors (after declaration of death according to neurologic criteria) from two large donation service areas and randomly assigned them to one of two targeted temperature ranges: 34 to 35°C (hypothermia) or 36.5 to 37.5°C (normothermia). Temperature protocols, which were initiated after authorization was obtained for the organ to be donated and for the donor's participation in the study, ended when organ donors left the intensive care unit for organ recovery in the operating room. The primary outcome was delayed graft function in the kidney recipients, which was defined as the requirement for dialysis during the first week after transplantation. Secondary outcomes were the rates of individual organs transplanted in each treatment group and the total number of organs transplanted from each donor. RESULTS: The study was terminated early, on the recommendation of an independent data and safety monitoring board, after the interim analysis showed efficacy of hypothermia. At trial termination, 370 organ donors had been enrolled (180 in the hypothermia group and 190 in the normothermia group). A total of 572 patients received a kidney transplant (285 kidneys from donors in the hypothermia group and 287 kidneys from donors in the normothermia group). Delayed graft function developed in 79 recipients of kidneys from donors in the hypothermia group (28%) and in 112 recipients of kidneys from donors in the normothermia group (39%) (odds ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.92; P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Mild hypothermia, as compared with normothermia, in organ donors after declaration of death according to neurologic criteria significantly reduced the rate of delayed graft function among recipients. Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society.


Berry S.M.,Berry Consultants | Broglio K.,Berry Consultants | Bunker M.,Cyberonics | Jayewardene A.,Cyberonics | And 2 more authors.
Medical Devices: Evidence and Research | Year: 2013

Objective: To compare response and remission rates in depressed patients with chronic treatment-resistant depression (TRD) treated with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) Therapy® plus treatment as usual (VNS + TAU) or TAU alone in a meta-analysis using Bayesian hierarchical models. Data sources and study selection: Six outpatient, multicenter, clinical trials that have evaluated VNS + TAU or TAU in TRD, including two single-arm studies of VNS + TAU (n = 60 and n = 74), a randomized study of VNS + TAU versus TAU (n = 235), a randomized study of VNS + TAU comparing different VNS stimulation intensities (n = 331), a nonrandomized registry of VNS + TAU versus TAU (n = 636), and a single-arm study of TAU (n = 124) to provide longer-term, control data for comparison with VNS-treated patients. Data extraction: A systematic review of individual patient-level data based on the intent-to-treat principle, including all patients who contributed more than one post-baseline visit. Response was based on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Clinical Global Impressions scale's Improvement subscale (CGI-I), as these were the two clinician-rated measures common across all or most studies. Remission was based on the MADRS. Results: Outcomes were compared from baseline up to 96 weeks of treatment with VNS + TAU (n = 1035) versus TAU (n = 425). The MADRS response rate for VNS + TAU at 12, 24, 48, and 96 weeks were 12%, 18%, 28%, and 32% versus 4%, 7%, 12%, and 14% for TAU. The MADRS remission rate for VNS + TAU at 12, 24, 48, and 96 weeks were 3%, 5%, 10%, and 14% versus 1%, 1%, 2%, and 4%, for TAU. Adjunctive VNS Therapy was associated with a greater likelihood of response (odds ratio [OR] = 3.19, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.12, 4.66) and remission (OR = 4.99, CI: 2.93, 7.76), compared with TAU. For patients who had responded to VNS + TAU at 24 weeks, sustained response was more likely at 48 weeks (OR = 1.98, CI: 1.34, 3.01) and at 96 weeks (OR = 3.42, CI: 1.78, 7.31). Similar results were observed for CGI-I response. Conclusion: For patients with chronic TRD, VNS + TAU has greater response and remission rates that are more likely to persist than TAU. © 2013 Berry et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.


White W.B.,University of Connecticut | Grady D.,University of California at San Francisco | Giudice L.C.,University of California at San Francisco | Berry S.M.,Berry Consultants | And 2 more authors.
American Heart Journal | Year: 2012

Evaluation of the safety of hormonal preparations for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction is important to assess the benefit-to-risk profile of these drugs and has been strongly encouraged by the Food and Drug Administration. LibiGel (Biosante Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lincolnshire, IL), a low-dose testosterone gel, is under development for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in oophorectomized women. To evaluate the long-term effects of LibiGel on risk for cardiovascular (CV) events, breast cancer, and general safety, a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study using a novel adaptive design to optimize sample size and power is being conducted. The primary end point of the BioSante LibiGel Safety Study (BLISS) is a composite of CV events including death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, hospitalized unstable angina, and venous thromboembolic events. Breast cancer is a coprimary end point. Postmenopausal women (both surgically and naturally) with HSDD and increased risk for CV events will be followed up for up to 5 years postrandomization with an interim data analysis for regulatory approval after the last woman enrolled has been on therapy for at least 12 months. Determination of the number of subjects to enroll is based on an adaptive design that uses interim data to estimate the predictive probability of study success. In agreement with the Food and Drug Administration, LibiGel will be declared safe if the upper limit of the 97.2% CI of the hazard ratio is ≤2.0 or the upper bound of the 97.2% CI for the absolute difference between CV event rates per 100 person-years is ≤1% and the observed hazard ratio is ≤2.0. The BLISS study will define the CV safety profile of low-dose testosterone therapy in the formulation of LibiGel for postmenopausal women with HSDD, and the trial design may provide a paradigm for studies that aim to document long-term safety when the proposed outcome under study is an uncommon adverse event. © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


Carroll J.D.,University of Colorado at Denver | Saver J.L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Thaler D.E.,Tufts University | Smalling R.W.,Texas Heart Institute | And 4 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: Whether closure of a patent foramen ovale is effective in the prevention of recurrent ischemic stroke in patients who have had a cryptogenic stroke is unknown. We conducted a trial to evaluate whether closure is superior to medical therapy alone in preventing recurrent ischemic stroke or early death in patients 18 to 60 years of age. METHODS: In this prospective, multicenter, randomized, event-driven trial, we randomly assigned patients, in a 1:1 ratio, to medical therapy alone or closure of the patent foramen ovale. The primary results of the trial were analyzed when the target of 25 primary end-point events had been observed and adjudicated. RESULTS: We enrolled 980 patients (mean age, 45.9 years) at 69 sites. The medical-therapy group received one or more antiplatelet medications (74.8%) or warfarin (25.2%). Treatment exposure between the two groups was unequal (1375 patient-years in the closure group vs. 1184 patient-years in the medical-therapy group, P=0.009) owing to a higher dropout rate in the medical-therapy group. In the intention-to-treat cohort, 9 patients in the closure group and 16 in the medical-therapy group had a recurrence of stroke (hazard ratio with closure, 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.22 to 1.11; P=0.08). The between-group difference in the rate of recurrent stroke was significant in the prespecified per-protocol cohort (6 events in the closure group vs. 14 events in the medical-therapy group; hazard ratio, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.14 to 0.96; P=0.03) and in the as-treated cohort (5 events vs. 16 events; hazard ratio, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.10 to 0.75; P=0.007). Serious adverse events occurred in 23.0% of the patients in the closure group and in 21.6% in the medical-therapy group (P=0.65). Procedure-related or device-related serious adverse events occurred in 21 of 499 patients in the closure group (4.2%), but the rate of atrial fibrillation or device thrombus was not increased. CONCLUSIONS: In the primary intention-to-treat analysis, there was no significant benefit associated with closure of a patent foramen ovale in adults who had had a cryptogenic ischemic stroke. However, closure was superior to medical therapy alone in the pre-specified per-protocol and as-treated analyses, with a low rate of associated risks. Copyright © 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society.


Saville B.R.,Vanderbilt University | Connor J.T.,Berry Consultants | Connor J.T.,University of Central Florida | Ayers G.D.,Vanderbilt University | Alvarez J.,Vanderbilt University
Clinical Trials | Year: 2014

Background Bayesian predictive probabilities can be used for interim monitoring of clinical trials to estimate the probability of observing a statistically significant treatment effect if the trial were to continue to its predefined maximum sample size. Purpose We explore settings in which Bayesian predictive probabilities are advantageous for interim monitoring compared to Bayesian posterior probabilities, p-values, conditional power, or group sequential methods. Results For interim analyses that address prediction hypotheses, such as futility monitoring and efficacy monitoring with lagged outcomes, only predictive probabilities properly account for the amount of data remaining to be observed in a clinical trial and have the flexibility to incorporate additional information via auxiliary variables. Limitations Computational burdens limit the feasibility of predictive probabilities in many clinical trial settings. The specification of prior distributions brings additional challenges for regulatory approval. Conclusions The use of Bayesian predictive probabilities enables the choice of logical interim stopping rules that closely align with the clinical decision-making process. © 2014 The Author(s).


Connor J.T.,Berry Consultants | Connor J.T.,University of Central Florida | Elm J.J.,Medical University of South Carolina | Broglio K.R.,Berry Consultants
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology | Year: 2013

Objective: We present a novel Bayesian adaptive comparative effectiveness trial comparing three treatments for status epilepticus that uses adaptive randomization with potential early stopping. Study Design and Setting: The trial will enroll 720 unique patients in emergency departments and uses a Bayesian adaptive design. Results: The trial design is compared to a trial without adaptive randomization and produces an efficient trial in which a higher proportion of patients are likely to be randomized to the most effective treatment arm while generally using fewer total patients and offers higher power than an analogous trial with fixed randomization when identifying a superior treatment. Conclusion: When one treatment is superior to the other two, the trial design provides better patient care, higher power, and a lower expected sample size. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Skrivanek Z.,Eli Lilly and Company | Gaydos B.L.,Eli Lilly and Company | Chien J.Y.,Eli Lilly and Company | Geiger M.J.,Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc | And 6 more authors.
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism | Year: 2014

Aims: AWARD-5 was an adaptive, seamless, double-blind study comparing dulaglutide, a once-weekly glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, with placebo at 26weeks and sitagliptin up to 104weeks. The study also included a dose-finding portion whose results are presented here. Methods: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients on metformin were randomized 3:1:1 to seven dulaglutide doses, sitagliptin (100mg), or placebo. A Bayesian algorithm was used for randomization and dose selection. Patients were adaptively randomized to dulaglutide doses using available data on the basis of a clinical utility index (CUI) of glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) versus sitagliptin at 52weeks and weight, pulse rate (PR) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) versus placebo at 26weeks. The algorithm randomly assigned patients until two doses were selected. Results: Dulaglutide 1.5mg was determined to be the optimal dose. Dulaglutide 0.75mg met criteria for the second dose. Dulaglutide 1.5mg showed the greatest Bayesian mean change from baseline (95% credible interval) in HbA1c versus sitagliptin at 52weeks -0.63 (-0.98 to -0.20)%. Dulaglutide 2.0mg showed the greatest placebo-adjusted mean change in weight [-1.99 (-2.88 to -1.20)kg] and in PR [0.78 (-2.10 to 3.80)bpm]. Dulaglutide 1.5mg showed the greatest placebo-adjusted mean change in DBP [-0.62 (-3.40 to 2.30)mmHg]. Conclusions: The Bayesian algorithm allowed for an efficient exploration of a large number of doses and selected dulaglutide doses of 1.5 and 0.75mg for further investigation in this trial. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Quintana M.A.,Berry Consultants | Conti D.V.,University of Southern California
Statistics in Medicine | Year: 2013

We are interested in developing integrative approaches for variable selection problems that incorporate external knowledge on a set of predictors of interest. In particular, we have developed an integrative Bayesian model uncertainty (iBMU) method, which formally incorporates multiple sources of data via a second-stage probit model on the probability that any predictor is associated with the outcome of interest. Using simulations, we demonstrate that iBMU leads to an increase in power to detect true marginal associations over more commonly used variable selection techniques, such as least absolute shrinkage and selection operator and elastic net. In addition, iBMU leads to a more efficient model search algorithm over the basic BMU method even when the predictor-level covariates are only modestly informative. The increase in power and efficiency of our method becomes more substantial as the predictor-level covariates become more informative. Finally, we demonstrate the power and flexibility of iBMU for integrating both gene structure and functional biomarker information into a candidate gene study investigating over 50 genes in the brain reward system and their role with smoking cessation from the Pharmacogenetics of Nicotine Addiction and Treatment Consortium. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Viele K.,Berry Consultants
Pharmaceutical statistics | Year: 2014

Clinical trials rarely, if ever, occur in a vacuum. Generally, large amounts of clinical data are available prior to the start of a study, particularly on the current study's control arm. There is obvious appeal in using (i.e., 'borrowing') this information. With historical data providing information on the control arm, more trial resources can be devoted to the novel treatment while retaining accurate estimates of the current control arm parameters. This can result in more accurate point estimates, increased power, and reduced type I error in clinical trials, provided the historical information is sufficiently similar to the current control data. If this assumption of similarity is not satisfied, however, one can acquire increased mean square error of point estimates due to bias and either reduced power or increased type I error depending on the direction of the bias. In this manuscript, we review several methods for historical borrowing, illustrating how key parameters in each method affect borrowing behavior, and then, we compare these methods on the basis of mean square error, power and type I error. We emphasize two main themes. First, we discuss the idea of 'dynamic' (versus 'static') borrowing. Second, we emphasize the decision process involved in determining whether or not to include historical borrowing in terms of the perceived likelihood that the current control arm is sufficiently similar to the historical data. Our goal is to provide a clear review of the key issues involved in historical borrowing and provide a comparison of several methods useful for practitioners. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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