Lilly, Merck Enter Collaboration Agreement to Research Immuno-Oncology Combination Regimens in Multiple Types of Cancer

Combinations of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) with Alimta® (pemetrexed), Cyramza® (ramucirumab), or necitumumab to be explored

KENILWORTH, N.J. & INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the US and Canada, and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) announced today an oncology clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with Lilly compounds in multiple clinical trials:

The agreement is between Lilly and Merck, through a subsidiary. Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

"Cancer is not one disease but rather more than 200 diseases, all of which have different causes and treatments," said Richard Gaynor, M.D., senior vice president, product development and medical affairs, Lilly Oncology. "Therefore research into combinations of immune-based therapies with other agents that could address these different tumor types is important. This collaboration between Lilly and Merck represents each company's strong commitment to patients fighting these devastating diseases."

"Our understanding of the immune system's role and its impact in the treatment of cancer continues to grow," said Eric Rubin, M.D., vice president, global clinical development, oncology, Merck Research Laboratories. "Collaborations such as this one are important in advancing the investigation of novel immuno-oncology combinations in different cancers, and to achieving our shared goal of bringing meaningful benefits to patients facing cancer."

About KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)

KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. By binding to the PD-1 receptor and blocking the interaction with the receptor ligands, KEYTRUDA releases the PD-1 pathway-mediated inhibition of the immune response, including the anti-tumor immune response.

KEYTRUDA is indicated in the United States at a dose of 2 mg/kg every three weeks for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression following ipilimumab and, if BRAF V600 mutation positive, a BRAF inhibitor. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response. An improvement in survival or disease-related symptoms has not yet been established. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials.

About ALIMTA® (pemetrexed)

In 2004, ALIMTA received consecutive approvals: it was the first agent to be approved in combination with cisplatin as a treatment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, whose disease is unresectable or who are otherwise not candidates for curative surgery, and then as a single agent for the second-line treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC after prior chemotherapy treatment.

In 2008, ALIMTA, in combination with cisplatin, was approved as a first-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC for patients with nonsquamous histology. At the time of the first-line approval, the FDA also approved a change to the second-line indication. ALIMTA is now indicated as a single agent for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic, nonsquamous NSCLC after prior chemotherapy.

In 2009, ALIMTA was approved as a maintenance therapy for locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC, specifically for patients with a nonsquamous histology whose disease has not progressed after four cycles of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy.

In 2012, ALIMTA was approved by the FDA as a continuation maintenance therapy for locally-advanced or metastatic NSCLC, following first-line therapy with ALIMTA plus cisplatin in patients with a nonsquamous histology.

ALIMTA is not indicated for treatment of patients with squamous cell NSCLC. Myelosuppression is usually the dose-limiting toxicity with ALIMTA therapy.

About CYRAMZA® (ramucirumab)

CYRAMZA as a single agent, or in combination with paclitaxel (a type of chemotherapy), is approved for the treatment of people with advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma whose cancer has progressed on or after prior fluoropyrimidine- or platinum-containing chemotherapy.

CYRAMZA is an antiangiogenic therapy. It is a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) Receptor 2 antagonist that specifically binds and blocks activation of VEGF Receptor 2, by blocking the binding of VEGF receptor ligands VEGF-A, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D. CYRAMZA inhibited angiogenesis in an in vivo animal model.

About Necitumumab

Necitumumab is an investigational recombinant human IgG1 monoclonal antibody that is designed to block the ligand binding site of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR). Activation of EGFR has been correlated with malignant progression, induction of angiogenesis and inhibition of apoptosis or cell death.

Selected Important Safety Information for KEYTRUDA

Pneumonitis occurred in 12 (2.9%) of 411 patients with advanced melanoma receiving KEYTRUDA (the approved indication in the United States), including Grade 2 or 3 cases in 8 (1.9%) and 1 (0.2%) patients, respectively. 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 pneumonitis.

Colitis (including microscopic colitis) occurred in 4 (1%) of 411 patients, including Grade 2 or 3 cases in 1 (0.2%) and 2 (0.5%) patients respectively, receiving KEYTRUDA. 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.

Hepatitis (including autoimmune hepatitis) occurred in 2 (0.5%) of 411 patients, including a Grade 4 case in 1 (0.2%) patient, receiving KEYTRUDA. 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.

Hypophysitis occurred in 2 (0.5%) of 411 patients, including a Grade 2 case in 1 and a Grade 4 case in 1 (0.2% each) patient, receiving KEYTRUDA. Monitor for signs and symptoms of hypophysitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater hypophysitis. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; withhold or discontinue for Grade 3; and permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 4 hypophysitis.

Nephritis occurred in 3 (0.7%) patients receiving KEYTRUDA, consisting of one case of Grade 2 autoimmune nephritis (0.2%) and two cases of interstitial nephritis with renal failure (0.5%), one Grade 3 and one Grade 4. 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.

Hyperthyroidism occurred in 5 (1.2%) of 411 patients, including Grade 2 or 3 cases in 2 (0.5%) and 1 (0.2%) patients respectively, receiving KEYTRUDA. Hypothyroidism occurred in 34 (8.3%) of 411 patients, including a Grade 3 case in 1 (0.2%) patient, receiving KEYTRUDA. Thyroid disorders can occur at any time during treatment. 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 corticosteroids for Grade 3 or greater hyperthyroidism. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 3; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 4 hyperthyroidism. Isolated hypothyroidism may be managed with replacement therapy without treatment interruption and without corticosteroids.

Other clinically important immune-mediated adverse reactions can occur. The following clinically significant, immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred in less than 1% of patients treated with KEYTRUDA: exfoliative dermatitis, uveitis, arthritis, myositis, pancreatitis, hemolytic anemia, partial seizures arising in a patient with inflammatory foci in brain parenchyma, adrenal insufficiency, myasthenic syndrome, optic neuritis, and rhabdomyolysis.

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 of the adverse reaction to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Restart KEYTRUDA if the adverse reaction remains at Grade 1 or less. Permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for any severe or Grade 3 immune-mediated adverse reaction that recurs and for any life-threatening immune-mediated adverse reaction.

Based on its mechanism of action, KEYTRUDA may 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.

For the treatment of advanced melanoma, KEYTRUDA was discontinued for adverse reactions in 6% of 89 patients who received the recommended dose of 2 mg/kg and 9% of 411 patients across all doses studied. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 36% of patients receiving KEYTRUDA. The most frequent serious adverse drug reactions reported in 2% or more of patients were renal failure, dyspnea, pneumonia, and cellulitis.

The most common adverse reactions (reported in ≥20% of patients) were fatigue (47%), cough (30%), nausea (30%), pruritus (30%), rash (29%), decreased appetite (26%), constipation (21%), arthralgia (20%), and diarrhea (20%).

The recommended dose of KEYTRUDA is 2 mg/kg administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every three weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. No formal pharmacokinetic drug interaction studies have been conducted with KEYTRUDA. 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. Safety and effectiveness of KEYTRUDA have not been established in pediatric patients.

Important Safety Information for ALIMTA® (pemetrexed for injection)

Myelosuppression is usually the dose-limiting toxicity with ALIMTA therapy.

Contraindication

ALIMTA is contraindicated in patients who have a history of severe hypersensitivity reaction to pemetrexed.

Warnings and Precautions

Prior to treatment with ALIMTA, patients must be instructed to initiate supplementation with oral folic acid. Additionally, intramuscular injections of vitamin B12 are also required prior to ALIMTA treatment. Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation should be continued throughout treatment as they may reduce the severity of treatment-related hematologic and GI toxicities. Dexamethasone or its equivalent should be administered the day before, the day of, and the day after ALIMTA treatment.

ALIMTA can suppress bone marrow function, as manifested by neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia (or pancytopenia). Reduce doses for subsequent cycles based on hematologic and nonhematologic toxicities.

ALIMTA should not be administered to patients with a creatinine clearance < 45 mL/min. One patient with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance 19 mL/min) who did not receive folic acid and vitamin B12 died of drug-related toxicity following administration of ALIMTA alone.

Caution should be used when administering NSAIDs concurrently with ALIMTA to patients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency (creatinine clearance from 45 to 79 mL/min). Patients with mild to moderate renal insufficiency should avoid taking NSAIDs with short elimination half-lives for a period of 2 days before, the day of, and 2 days following administration of ALIMTA. In the absence of data regarding potential interaction between ALIMTA and NSAIDs with longer half-lives, all patients taking these NSAIDs should interrupt dosing for at least 5 days before, the day of, and 2 days following ALIMTA administration. If concomitant administration of NSAIDs is necessary, patients should be monitored closely for toxicity, especially myelosuppression, renal, and gastrointestinal toxicity. No dose adjustment of ALIMTA is needed with concomitant NSAIDs in patients with normal renal function.

Do not initiate a cycle of treatment in patients unless the ANC is ≥1500 cells/mm3, the platelet count is ≥100,000 cells/mm3, and creatinine clearance is ≥45 mL/min.

Pregnancy Category D—ALIMTA may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Women should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus and should be advised to use effective contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy during treatment with ALIMTA.

Drug Interactions

See Warnings and Precautions for specific information regarding NSAID administration in patients with renal insufficiency.

Concomitant administration of nephrotoxic drugs or substances that are tubularly secreted could result in delayed clearance of ALIMTA.

Use in Specific Patient Populations

It is recommended that nursing be discontinued if the mother is being treated with ALIMTA or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug for the mother.

Efficacy of ALIMTA in pediatric patients has not been demonstrated. The most common toxicities reported in the studied pediatric patients were hematological (leukopenia, neutropenia/granulocytopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and lymphopenia), liver function abnormalities (increased ALT/AST), fatigue, and nausea.

Dosage and Administration Guidelines

Complete blood cell counts, including platelet counts and periodic chemistry tests, which include renal and hepatic function tests, should be performed on all patients receiving ALIMTA.

Dose adjustments at the start of a subsequent cycle should be based on nadir hematologic counts or maximum nonhematologic toxicity from the preceding cycle of therapy. Modify or suspend therapy according to the Dosage Reduction Guidelines in the full Prescribing Information.

Abbreviated Adverse Reactions (% incidence) - 1st-line advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NS NSCLC)

The most severe adverse reactions (grades 3-4) with ALIMTA in combination with cisplatin versus gemcitabine in combination with cisplatin, respectively, for the 1st-line treatment of patients with advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were neutropenia (15% vs 27%); leukopenia (5% vs 8%); thrombocytopenia (4% vs 13%); anemia (6% vs 10%); fatigue (7% vs 5%); nausea (7% vs 4%); vomiting (6% vs 6%); anorexia (2% vs 1%); creatinine elevation (1% vs 1%); and diarrhea (1% vs 2%).

Common adverse reactions (all grades) with ALIMTA in combination with cisplatin versus gemcitabine in combination with cisplatin, respectively, were nausea (56% vs 53%); fatigue (43% vs 45%); vomiting (40% vs 36%); anemia (33% vs 46%); neutropenia (29% vs 38%); anorexia (27% vs 24%); constipation (21% vs 20%); leukopenia (18% vs 21%); stomatitis/pharyngitis (14% vs 12%); alopecia (12% vs 21%); diarrhea (12% vs 13%); thrombocytopenia (10% vs 27%); neuropathy/sensory (9% vs 12%); taste disturbance (8% vs 9%); rash/desquamation (7% vs 8%); dyspepsia/heartburn (5% vs 6%); and creatinine elevation (10% vs 7%).

Abbreviated Adverse Reactions (% incidence) - Maintenance in advanced NS NSCLC following non-ALIMTA containing, platinum-based induction therapy

The most severe adverse reactions (grades 3-4) with ALIMTA as a single agent versus placebo, respectively, for the maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NS NSCLC) following non-ALIMTA containing platinum-based induction therapy were anemia (3% vs 1%); neutropenia (3% vs 0%); leukopenia (2% vs 1%); fatigue (5% vs 1%); nausea (1% vs 1%); anorexia (2% vs 0%); mucositis/stomatitis (1% vs 0%); diarrhea (1% vs 0%); infection (2% vs 0%); and neuropathy-sensory (1% vs 0%).

Common adverse reactions (all grades) with ALIMTA as a single agent versus placebo, respectively, after non-ALIMTA containing platinum-based induction therapy were anemia (15% vs 6%); neutropenia (6% vs 0%); leukopenia (6% vs 1%); increased ALT (10% vs 4%); increased AST (8% vs 4%); fatigue (25% vs 11%); nausea (19% vs 6%); anorexia (19% vs 5%); vomiting (9% vs 1%); mucositis/stomatitis (7% vs 2%); diarrhea (5% vs 3%); infection (5% vs 2%); neuropathy-sensory (9% vs 4%); and rash/desquamation (10% vs 3%).

Abbreviated Adverse Reactions (% incidence) - Maintenance in advanced NS NSCLC following ALIMTA plus cisplatin induction therapy

The most severe adverse reactions (grades 3-4) with ALIMTA as a single agent versus placebo, respectively, for the maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NS NSCLC) following ALIMTA plus cisplatin induction therapy were anemia (4.8% vs 0.6%); neutropenia (3.9% vs 0%); and fatigue (4.5% vs 0.6%).

Common adverse reactions (all grades) with ALIMTA as a single agent versus placebo, respectively, following ALIMTA plus cisplatin induction therapy were anemia (15% vs 4.8%); neutropenia (9% vs 0.6%); fatigue (18% vs 11%); nausea (12% vs 2.4%); vomiting (6% vs 1.8%); mucositis/stomatitis (5% vs 2.4%); and edema (5% vs 3.6%).

Abbreviated Adverse Reactions (% incidence) - 2nd-line advanced NS NSCLC

The most severe adverse reactions (grades 3-4) with ALIMTA as a single agent versus docetaxel, respectively, for the 2nd-line treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were neutropenia (5% vs 40%); leukopenia (4% vs 27%); thrombocytopenia (2% vs 0%); anemia (4% vs 4%); fatigue (5% vs 5%); nausea (3% vs 2%); anorexia (2% vs 3%); vomiting (2% vs 1%); increased ALT (2% vs 0%); increased AST (1% vs 0%); and stomatitis/pharyngitis (1% vs 1%).

Common adverse reactions (all grades) with ALIMTA as a single agent versus docetaxel, respectively, were fatigue (34% vs 36%); nausea (31% vs 17%); anorexia (22% vs 24%); anemia (19% vs 22%); vomiting (16% vs 12%); stomatitis/pharyngitis (15% vs 17%); rash (14% vs 6%); diarrhea (13% vs 24%); leukopenia (12% vs 34%); thrombocytopenia (8% vs 1%); increased ALT (8% vs 1%); increased AST (7% vs 1%); constipation (6% vs 4%); fever (8% vs 8%); pruritus (7% vs 2%); alopecia (6% vs 38%); and neutropenia (11% vs 45%).

For safety and dosing guidelines, see complete Warnings and Precautions, Adverse Reactions, and Dosage and Administration sections in the accompanying full Prescribing Information.

PM_HCP_ISI_NSCLCall_17OCT2012

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR CYRAMZA

WARNING: HEMORRHAGE
CYRAMZA increased the risk of hemorrhage, including severe and sometimes fatal hemorrhagic events. Permanently discontinue CYRAMZA in patients who experience severe bleeding.

Warnings and Precautions

Hemorrhage

Arterial Thromboembolic Events

Hypertension

Infusion-Related Reactions

Gastrointestinal Perforations

Impaired Wound Healing

Clinical Deterioration in Child-Pugh B or C Cirrhosis

Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS)

Most Common Adverse Reactions—Single Agent

Most Common Adverse Reactions—Combination With Paclitaxel

Most Common Adverse Reactions—Combination With Docetaxel

Drug Interactions

Use in Specific Populations

Please see full Prescribing Information for CYRAMZA, including Boxed Warning for hemorrhage.

RB-P HCP ISI 16DEC2014

Merck's Focus on Cancer

Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into biomedical innovations to help people with cancer worldwide. For Merck Oncology, helping people fight cancer is our passion, supporting accessibility to our cancer medicines is our commitment, and pursuing research in immuno-oncology and other areas of breakthrough science is our focus to potentially bring new hope to people with cancer. For more information about our oncology clinical trials, visit www.merck.com/clinicaltrials.

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 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.

About Lilly Oncology

For more than fifty years, Lilly has been dedicated to delivering life-changing medicines and support to people living with cancer and those who care for them. Lilly is determined to build on this heritage and continue making life better for all those affected by cancer around the world. To learn more about Lilly's commitment to people with cancer, please visit www.LillyOncology.com.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at www.lilly.com and newsroom.lilly.com/social-channels.

C-LLY

RB93109 12/2014 © Lilly USA, LLC 2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
CYRAMZA® is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company.

Merck 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. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck'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 healthcare legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward healthcare cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck'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 Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent 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 2013 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).

Lilly Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" (as that term is defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) regarding the research collaboration between Merck and Lilly. This press release reflects Lilly's current beliefs. However, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug research, development, and commercialization. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that this investigational combination regimen will receive regulatory approval, or, if approved, that it will achieve intended benefits or become a commercially successful product. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from Lilly's expectations, please see the company's latest Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

P-LLY

Merck
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mcgrath_happeks@lilly.com

Source: Merck

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