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U.S. FDA Accepts for Priority Review the Supplemental Biologics License Application for Merck’s VAXNEUVANCE™ (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine) for Use in Infants and Children

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KENILWORTH, N.J., December 01, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for Priority Review a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for VAXNEUVANCE (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine) for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease in children 6 weeks through 17 years of age. The FDA grants priority review to medicines and vaccines that, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment or prevention of a serious condition. The FDA set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), or target action date, of April 1, 2022.

"VAXNEUVANCE has the potential to provide meaningful protection against invasive pneumococcal disease for children and infants by targeting pneumococcal strains, or serotypes, that contribute to substantial disease burden, including serotype 3, and broadening coverage to additional disease-causing serotypes, 22F and 33F, which are not included in the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) currently available for this population," said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories. "We look forward to working with the U.S. FDA as it reviews what would be the first new option in pediatric pneumococcal vaccination in over a decade."

The sBLA is supported by results from Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical studies in pediatric populations including infants, children, and adolescents. These studies support the potential use of VAXNEUVANCE in a variety of clinical settings, including immunization of infants and toddlers as well as of special populations at increased risk for pneumococcal disease, such as children with HIV infection or sickle cell disease. The submission also includes data supporting the potential use of VAXNEUVANCE as part of a mixed dosing regimen following initiation of an infant vaccination schedule with PCV13 as well as in a catch-up setting for older children who are either pneumococcal vaccine-naïve or who previously received a partial or full regimen of a lower-valency pediatric PCV.

Invasive pneumococcal disease can cause serious and potentially life-threatening infections in infants and children. Children under the age of 2 are particularly vulnerable to pneumococcal infection, and incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease remains highest in the first year of life. There are 100 different types of pneumococcal bacteria, of which some continue to put children at risk, including serotypes 22F, 33F and 3, which represent more than a quarter of invasive pneumococcal disease in children under the age of 5.

About VAXNEUVANCE (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine)

VAXNEUVANCE, Merck’s 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, consists of purified capsular polysaccharides from S. pneumoniae serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, 22F, 23F and 33F individually conjugated to CRM197 carrier protein. VAXNEUVANCE is indicated for active immunization of adults 18 years of age and older for the prevention of invasive disease caused by the S. pneumoniae serotypes contained in the vaccine. It is currently under investigation in the pediatric population. VAXNEUVANCE previously received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease in pediatric patients 6 weeks through 17 years of age.

Select Safety Information for VAXNEUVANCE in Adults 18 Years of Age and Older

Do not administer VAXNEUVANCE to individuals with a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of VAXNEUVANCE or to diphtheria toxoid.

Some individuals with altered immunocompetence, including those receiving immunosuppressive therapy, may have a reduced immune response to VAXNEUVANCE.

The most commonly reported solicited adverse reactions in individuals 18 through 49 years of age were: injection site pain (75.8%), fatigue (34.3%), myalgia (28.8%), headache (26.5%), injection site swelling (21.7%), injection site erythema (15.1%) and arthralgia (12.7%).

The most commonly reported solicited adverse reactions in individuals 50 years of age and older were: injection site pain (66.8%), myalgia (26.9%), fatigue (21.5%), headache (18.9%), injection site swelling (15.4%), injection site erythema (10.9%) and arthralgia (7.7%).

Vaccination with VAXNEUVANCE may not protect all vaccine recipients.

About Merck

For over 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. 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 candidates that the candidates 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 the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); 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 2020 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 VAXNEUVANCE (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine) at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/vaxneuvance/vaxneuvance_pi.pdf.
and Patient Information at https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/vaxneuvance/vaxneuvance_ppi.pdf.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211201005091/en/

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