LYNPARZA® (olaparib) in Combination With Abiraterone and Prednisone or Prednisolone Approved in the EU as Treatment for Certain Patients With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

LYNPARZA® (olaparib) in Combination With Abiraterone and Prednisone or Prednisolone Approved in the EU as Treatment for Certain Patients With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer




LYNPARZA® (olaparib) in Combination With Abiraterone and Prednisone or Prednisolone Approved in the EU as Treatment for Certain Patients With Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

First PARP inhibitor and new hormonal agent combination approved for these patients in Europe

RAHWAY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$MRK #MRK–AstraZeneca and Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, today announced that LYNPARZA has been approved in the European Union (EU) in combination with abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone for the treatment of adult patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) in whom chemotherapy is not clinically indicated.

This approval by the European Commission follows the positive recommendation from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use received in November this year and was based on the Phase 3 PROpel trial, results of which were published in NEJM Evidence in June 2022.

In PROpel, LYNPARZA in combination with abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 34% (HR=0.66 [95% CI, 0.54-0.81]; p<0.0001) versus placebo plus abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone, based on investigator assessment. Median radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS) was 24.8 months for the LYNPARZA plus abiraterone arm (95% CI, 20.5, 27.6) versus 16.6 months for the placebo plus abiraterone arm (95% CI, 13.9, 19.2). A planned sensitivity analysis by blinded independent central review was consistent with the investigator-based analysis, with a median rPFS of 27.6 months for the LYNPARZA plus abiraterone arm compared to 16.4 months for the placebo plus abiraterone arm.

Interim results for the key secondary efficacy endpoint of overall survival (OS) did not reach statistical significance, with an event rate of 37.1% in the LYNPARZA plus abiraterone arm versus 43.1% in the placebo plus abiraterone arm at the time of the analysis (HR=0.83 [95% CI, 0.66-1.03]).

The safety and tolerability of LYNPARZA in combination with abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone was generally consistent with that of the individual medicines. Approximately 16% of patients who received LYNPARZA in combination with abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone discontinued treatment due to an adverse event (AE). As previously reported, based on an analysis from the PROpel trial presented earlier this year at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, the most common AEs (≥20%) were anemia (46%), fatigue (37%) and nausea (28%). Grade ≥3 AEs were anemia (15%), hypertension (4%), urinary tract infection (2%), fatigue (2%), decreased appetite (1%), vomiting (1%), back pain (1%), diarrhea (1%) and nausea (0.3%).

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Europe, with an estimated 473,000 cases and 108,000 deaths in 2020. Approximately 10-20% of patients with prostate cancer are estimated to develop castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) within five years, with at least 84% of these patients presenting with metastases at the time of CRPC diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer have a particularly poor prognosis, with a five-year relative survival rate of about 30%, compared to patients diagnosed with earlier stages of the disease, with a five-year relative survival rate of more than 99%.

Noel Clarke, urological surgeon and professor of urological oncology at Manchester’s Christie/Salford Royal Hospitals and Manchester University, a senior investigator of the PROpel trial, said, “The results of the PROpel Phase 3 trial of olaparib in combination with abiraterone as a first-line treatment show that this therapeutic combination can provide significant clinical benefit to patients with mCRPC. Patients with this condition in the EU will now, for the first time, have the opportunity to benefit from this new treatment combination.”

Dave Fredrickson, executive vice president, oncology business unit, AstraZeneca, said, “Many patients with mCRPC are only able to receive one line of active therapy, as the disease can progress quickly. LYNPARZA in combination with abiraterone has been shown to reduce the risk of disease progression by 34% versus the standard of care treatment in the PROpel trial. Moreover, the combination of LYNPARZA with abiraterone as a first-line treatment expands the use of LYNPARZA to a broader group of mCRPC patients than those treated with LYNPARZA alone in the second-line setting in the PROfound trial. Today’s approval marks a significant advance toward addressing the unmet need of patients with mCRPC in the EU.”

Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president, head of global clinical development and chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories, said, “Merck is committed to developing new treatment options for patients with mCRPC, a complex disease that urgently needs more therapies. This approval by the European Commission marks another step toward delivering on that commitment, and we look forward to extending the benefits of LYNPARZA to more patients with mCRPC in the EU.”

Use of LYNPARZA in combination with abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone is currently under review by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of adult patients with mCRPC. LYNPARZA is approved in the U.S. as monotherapy for patients with homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene-mutated mCRPC (BRCA-mutated and other HRR gene mutations) who have progressed following prior treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone and in the EU, Japan and China for patients with BRCA-mutated mCRPC who have progressed following prior therapy that included a new hormonal agent (NHA). These approvals were based on the data from the Phase 3 PROfound trial.

About PROpel

PROpel is a randomized, double-blind Phase 3 trial testing the efficacy, safety and tolerability of LYNPARZA versus placebo when given in addition to abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone in patients with mCRPC who had not received prior chemotherapy or NHAs in the mCRPC setting. The major efficacy outcome was rPFS as assessed by investigator per RECIST v1.1 and Prostate Cancer Working Group (bone) criteria. OS was an additional efficacy outcome measure.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

CONTRAINDICATIONS

There are no contraindications for LYNPARZA.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

Myelodysplastic Syndrome/Acute Myeloid Leukemia (MDS/AML): Occurred in approximately 1.5% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA monotherapy, and the majority of events had a fatal outcome. The median duration of therapy in patients who developed MDS/AML was 2 years (range: <6 months to >10 years). All of these patients had previous chemotherapy with platinum agents and/or other DNA-damaging agents, including radiotherapy.

Do not start LYNPARZA until patients have recovered from hematological toxicity caused by previous chemotherapy (≤Grade 1). Monitor complete blood count for cytopenia at baseline and monthly thereafter for clinically significant changes during treatment. For prolonged hematological toxicities, interrupt LYNPARZA and monitor blood count weekly until recovery.

If the levels have not recovered to Grade 1 or less after 4 weeks, refer the patient to a hematologist for further investigations, including bone marrow analysis and blood sample for cytogenetics. Discontinue LYNPARZA if MDS/AML is confirmed.

Pneumonitis: Occurred in 0.8% of patients exposed to LYNPARZA monotherapy, and some cases were fatal. If patients present with new or worsening respiratory symptoms such as dyspnea, cough, and fever, or a radiological abnormality occurs, interrupt LYNPARZA treatment and initiate prompt investigation. Discontinue LYNPARZA if pneumonitis is confirmed and treat patient appropriately.

Venous Thromboembolic Events (VTE): Including severe or fatal pulmonary embolism (PE) occurred in patients treated with LYNPARZA. VTE occurred in 7% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who received LYNPARZA plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) compared to 3.1% of patients receiving enzalutamide or abiraterone plus ADT in the PROfound study. Patients receiving LYNPARZA and ADT had a 6% incidence of pulmonary embolism compared to 0.8% of patients treated with ADT plus either enzalutamide or abiraterone. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and treat as medically appropriate, which may include long-term anticoagulation as clinically indicated.

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, LYNPARZA can cause fetal harm. A pregnancy test is recommended for females of reproductive potential prior to initiating treatment.

Females

Advise females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus and to use effective contraception during treatment and for 6 months following the last dose.

Males

Advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential or who are pregnant to use effective contraception during treatment and for 3 months following the last dose of LYNPARZA and to not donate sperm during this time.

ADVERSE REACTIONS—First-Line Maintenance BRCAm Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for SOLO-1 were: nausea (77%), fatigue (67%), abdominal pain (45%), vomiting (40%), anemia (38%), diarrhea (37%), constipation (28%), upper respiratory tract infection/influenza/nasopharyngitis/bronchitis (28%), dysgeusia (26%), decreased appetite (20%), dizziness (20%), neutropenia (17%), dyspepsia (17%), dyspnea (15%), leukopenia (13%), urinary tract infection (13%), thrombocytopenia (11%), and stomatitis (11%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for SOLO-1 were: decrease in hemoglobin (87%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (87%), decrease in leukocytes (70%), decrease in lymphocytes (67%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (51%), decrease in platelets (35%), and increase in serum creatinine (34%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—First-Line Maintenance Advanced Ovarian Cancer in Combination with Bevacizumab

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients treated with LYNPARZA/bevacizumab and at a ≥5% frequency compared to placebo/bevacizumab in the first-line maintenance setting for PAOLA-1 were: nausea (53%), fatigue (including asthenia) (53%), anemia (41%), lymphopenia (24%), vomiting (22%), and leukopenia (18%). In addition, the most common adverse reactions (≥10%) for patients receiving LYNPARZA/bevacizumab irrespective of the frequency compared with the placebo/bevacizumab arm were: diarrhea (18%), neutropenia (18%), urinary tract infection (15%), and headache (14%).

In addition, venous thromboembolic events occurred more commonly in patients receiving LYNPARZA/bevacizumab (5%) than in those receiving placebo/bevacizumab (1.9%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients for LYNPARZA in combination with bevacizumab in the first-line maintenance setting for PAOLA-1 were: decrease in hemoglobin (79%), decrease in lymphocytes (63%), increase in serum creatinine (61%), decrease in leukocytes (59%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (35%), and decrease in platelets (35%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—Maintenance Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥20% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the maintenance setting for SOLO-2 were: nausea (76%), fatigue (including asthenia) (66%), anemia (44%), vomiting (37%), nasopharyngitis/upper respiratory tract infection (URI)/influenza (36%), diarrhea (33%), arthralgia/myalgia (30%), dysgeusia (27%), headache (26%), decreased appetite (22%), and stomatitis (20%).

Study 19: nausea (71%), fatigue (including asthenia) (63%), vomiting (35%), diarrhea (28%), anemia (23%), respiratory tract infection (22%), constipation (22%), headache (21%), decreased appetite (21%), and dyspepsia (20%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the maintenance setting (SOLO-2/Study 19) were: increase in mean corpuscular volume (89%/82%), decrease in hemoglobin (83%/82%), decrease in leukocytes (69%/58%), decrease in lymphocytes (67%/52%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (51%/47%), increase in serum creatinine (44%/45%), and decrease in platelets (42%/36%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—Adjuvant Treatment of gBRCAm, HER2-Negative, High-Risk Early Breast Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the adjuvant setting for OlympiA were: nausea (57%), fatigue (including asthenia) (42%), anemia (24%), vomiting (23%), headache (20%), diarrhea (18%), leukopenia (17%), neutropenia (16%), decreased appetite (13%), dysgeusia (12%), dizziness (11%), and stomatitis (10%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the adjuvant setting for OlympiA were: decrease in lymphocytes (77%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (67%), decrease in hemoglobin (65%), decrease in leukocytes (64%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (39%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—gBRCAm, HER2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥20% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the metastatic setting for OlympiAD were: nausea (58%), anemia (40%), fatigue (including asthenia) (37%), vomiting (30%), neutropenia (27%), respiratory tract infection (27%), leukopenia (25%), diarrhea (21%), and headache (20%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in >25% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the metastatic setting for OlympiAD were: decrease in hemoglobin (82%), decrease in lymphocytes (73%), decrease in leukocytes (71%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (71%), decrease in absolute neutrophil count (46%), and decrease in platelets (33%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—First-Line Maintenance gBRCAm Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: fatigue (60%), nausea (45%), abdominal pain (34%), diarrhea (29%), anemia (27%), decreased appetite (25%), constipation (23%), vomiting (20%), back pain (19%), arthralgia (15%), rash (15%), thrombocytopenia (14%), dyspnea (13%), neutropenia (12%), nasopharyngitis (12%), dysgeusia (11%), and stomatitis (10%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients who received LYNPARZA in the first-line maintenance setting for POLO were: increase in serum creatinine (99%), decrease in hemoglobin (86%), increase in mean corpuscular volume (71%), decrease in lymphocytes (61%), decrease in platelets (56%), decrease in leukocytes (50%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (25%).

ADVERSE REACTIONS—HRR Gene-mutated Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

Most common adverse reactions (Grades 1-4) in ≥10% of patients who received LYNPARZA for PROfound were: anemia (46%), fatigue (including asthenia) (41%), nausea (41%), decreased appetite (30%), diarrhea (21%), vomiting (18%), thrombocytopenia (12%), cough (11%), and dyspnea (10%).

Most common laboratory abnormalities (Grades 1-4) in ≥25% of patients who received LYNPARZA for PROfound were: decrease in hemoglobin (98%), decrease in lymphocytes (62%), decrease in leukocytes (53%), and decrease in absolute neutrophil count (34%).

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Anticancer Agents: Clinical studies of LYNPARZA with other myelosuppressive anticancer agents, including DNA-damaging agents, indicate a potentiation and prolongation of myelosuppressive toxicity.

CYP3A Inhibitors: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitors when using LYNPARZA. If a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor must be coadministered, reduce the dose of LYNPARZA. Advise patients to avoid grapefruit, grapefruit juice, Seville oranges, and Seville orange juice during LYNPARZA treatment.

CYP3A Inducers: Avoid coadministration of strong or moderate CYP3A inducers when using LYNPARZA.

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Lactation: No data are available regarding the presence of olaparib in human milk, its effects on the breastfed infant or on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in the breastfed infant, advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment with LYNPARZA and for 1 month after receiving the final dose.

Pediatric Use: The safety and efficacy of LYNPARZA have not been established in pediatric patients.

Hepatic Impairment: No adjustment to the starting dose is required in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification A and B). There are no data in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh classification C).

Renal Impairment: No dosage modification is recommended in patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr 51-80 mL/min estimated by Cockcroft-Gault). In patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr 31-50 mL/min), reduce the dose of LYNPARZA to 200 mg twice daily. There are no data in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease (CLcr ≤30 mL/min).

INDICATIONS

LYNPARZA is a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor indicated:

First-Line Maintenance BRCAm Advanced Ovarian Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic BRCA-mutated (gBRCAm or sBRCAm) advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

First-Line Maintenance HRD-Positive Advanced Ovarian Cancer in Combination with Bevacizumab

In combination with bevacizumab for the maintenance treatment of adult patients with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who are in complete or partial response to first-line platinum-based chemotherapy and whose cancer is associated with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD)-positive status defined by either:

  • a deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA mutation, and/or
  • genomic instability

Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

Maintenance Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer, who are in complete or partial response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Adjuvant Treatment of gBRCAm, HER2-Negative, High-Risk Early Breast Cancer

For the adjuvant treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative high-risk early breast cancer who have been treated with neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

gBRCAm, HER2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer who have been treated with chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or metastatic setting. Patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer should have been treated with a prior endocrine therapy or be considered inappropriate for endocrine therapy. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

First-Line Maintenance gBRCAm Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

For the maintenance treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious gBRCAm metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma whose disease has not progressed on at least 16 weeks of a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy regimen. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

HRR Gene-mutated Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer

For the treatment of adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) who have progressed following prior treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone. Select patients for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for LYNPARZA.

Please see complete Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.

Financial considerations

Under the oncology collaboration with AstraZeneca and following this new approval for LYNPARZA, AstraZeneca will receive a $105 million payment from Merck.

About LYNPARZA® (olaparib)

LYNPARZA is a first-in-class PARP inhibitor and the first targeted treatment to potentially exploit DNA damage response (DDR) pathway deficiencies, such as BRCA mutations, to preferentially kill cancer cells. Inhibition of PARP with LYNPARZA leads to the trapping of PARP bound to DNA single-strand breaks, stalling of replication forks, their collapse and the generation of DNA double-strand breaks and cancer cell death. LYNPARZA is being tested in a range of tumor types with defects and dependencies in the DDR.

LYNPARZA, which is being jointly developed and commercialized by AstraZeneca and Merck, has a broad clinical trial development program, and AstraZeneca and Merck are working together to understand how it may affect multiple PARP-dependent tumors as a monotherapy and in combination across multiple cancer types.

About metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in male patients globally and is associated with a significant mortality rate. Development of prostate cancer is often driven by male sex hormones called androgens, including testosterone. In patients with mCRPC, their prostate cancer grows and spreads to other parts of the body, despite the use of androgen-deprivation therapy to block the action of male sex hormones. Approximately 10-20% of patients with prostate cancer will develop CRPC within five years, with at least 84% of these patients presenting with metastases at the time of CRPC diagnosis. Of patients with no metastases at CRPC diagnosis, 33% are likely to develop metastases within two years.

About the AstraZeneca and Merck strategic oncology collaboration

In July 2017, AstraZeneca and Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced a global strategic oncology collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize certain oncology products including LYNPARZA, the world’s first PARP inhibitor, for multiple cancer types. Working together, the companies will develop these products in combination with other potential new medicines and as monotherapies. Independently, the companies will develop these oncology products in combination with their respective PD-L1 and PD-1 medicines.

Merck’s focus on cancer

Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck, the potential to bring new hope to people with cancer drives our purpose and supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment. As part of our focus on cancer, Merck is committed to exploring the potential of immuno-oncology with one of the largest development programs in the industry across more than 30 tumor types.

Contacts

Media Contacts:

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Investor Contacts:

Peter Dannenbaum

(908) 740-1037

Damini Chokshi

(908) 740-1807

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