New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Additional Efficacy and Safety Data for GARDASIL® in Males

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011 5:35 pm EDT

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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.

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"In the absence of routine screening, a vaccine that can help prevent HPV types 16- and 18-related anal cancers, which account for approximately 80% of anal cancer cases, is an important tool to help prevent this disease"

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) announced today that data from a sub-study of the pivotal Phase III clinical trial with GARDASIL® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant] in males were published in the October 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). In this study of 602 healthy men who have sex with men (MSM), ages 16 to 26 years, GARDASIL was 77.5 percent effective in the per-protocol efficacy population in reducing the rates of anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18. The efficacy of GARDASIL against HPV-related anal disease was studied in a population of MSM because of the known high risk of anal infection and disease that occurs in this group.

In December 2010, GARDASIL was approved in the United States for the prevention of anal cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18 and for the prevention of AIN grades 1, 2 and 3 (anal dysplasias and precancerous lesions) caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18, in both males and females 9 through 26 years of age, based on this sub-study.

"In the absence of routine screening, a vaccine that can help prevent HPV types 16- and 18-related anal cancers, which account for approximately 80% of anal cancer cases, is an important tool to help prevent this disease," said Richard M. Haupt, M.D., MPH, executive director, Merck Research Laboratories. "These study data add to the large body of clinical trial data that support use of GARDASIL in both females and males to help prevent certain HPV-related cancers and disease."

GARDASIL is indicated for use in girls and young women 9 through 26 years of age for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18; genital warts (condylomata acuminata) caused by HPV types 6 and 11; and precancerous or dysplastic lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. GARDASIL is also approved for use in boys and men 9 through 26 years of age for the prevention of anal cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18 and genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11; and precancerous or dysplastic lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18.

About HPV and Anal Cancer

In the United States, an estimated 75 to 80 percent of males and females will be infected with HPV in their lifetime. For most, HPV will clear on its own. However, for those who don't clear certain types, HPV can cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women and anal cancer and genital warts in men and women. There is no way to predict who will or won't clear the virus.

Anal cancer affects both men and women, with approximately 60 percent of cases occurring in women. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that approximately 2,000 men and more than 3,000 women will have been diagnosed with anal cancer in 2010. There is no standardized screening recommended for the general population for anal cancer, and many people are diagnosed when the disease is more advanced.

Important information about GARDASIL

GARDASIL does not eliminate the necessity for women to continue to undergo recommended cervical cancer screening. Recipients of GARDASIL should not discontinue anal cancer screening if it has been recommended by a health care provider.

GARDASIL has not been demonstrated to provide protection against diseases from vaccine and non-vaccine HPV types to which a person has previously been exposed through sexual activity.

GARDASIL is not intended to be used for treatment of active external genital lesions; cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia, or anal intraepithelial neoplasia.

GARDASIL has not been demonstrated to protect against disease due to HPV types not contained in the vaccine.

Not all vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers are caused by HPV, and GARDASIL protects only against those vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers caused by HPV Types 16 and 18.

Select safety information for GARDASIL

GARDASIL is contraindicated in individuals with hypersensitivity, including severe allergic reactions to yeast, or after a previous dose of GARDASIL.

Because vaccinees may develop syncope, sometimes resulting in falling with injury, observation for 15 minutes after administration is recommended. Syncope, sometimes associated with tonic-clonic movements and other seizure-like activity, has been reported following vaccination with GARDASIL. When syncope is associated with tonic-clonic movements, the activity is usually transient and typically responds to restoring cerebral perfusion.

GARDASIL is not recommended for use in pregnant women.

The most common adverse reaction was headache. Common adverse reactions that were observed among recipients of GARDASIL at a frequency of at least 1.0 percent and greater than placebo were: fever, nausea, dizziness; and injection-site pain, swelling, erythema, pruritus and bruising.

Dosage and administration for GARDASIL

GARDASIL is a ready-to-use, three-dose, intramuscular vaccine. GARDASIL should be administered in three separate intramuscular injections in the deltoid region of the upper arm or in the higher anterolateral area of the thigh. The following dosage schedule is recommended: First dose at elected date, second dose two months after the first dose and the third dose six months after the first dose.

GARDASIL is approved in 124 countries

GARDASIL (sold in some countries as SILGARD®) has been approved in 124 countries, and additional applications are currently under review with regulatory agencies around the world.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare 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 consumer care 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 healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck 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 Merck’s 2010 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 GARDASIL® at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/g/gardasil/gardasil_pi.pdf and Patient Information for GARDASIL® at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/g/gardasil/gardasil_ppi.pdf.

GARDASIL® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., U.S.A.

 

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