BAVENCIO(R) (avelumab) Plus INLYTA(R) (axitinib) Significantly Improved Progression-Free Survival in Previously Untreated Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma in Phase III Study

Food and Healthcare Press Releases Wednesday September 12, 2018 08:37
DARMSTADT, Germany and NEW YORK--12 Sep--PRNewswire/InfoQuest
Not intended for US, Canada and UK-based media
  • First positive Phase III immunotherapy trial in combination with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) in any tumor type
  • Results significant in both PDL1+ and all-comer populations
  • Alliance plans to pursue a regulatory submission in the US and discussions with other health authorities based on interim results for progression-free survival
  • Trial will continue for the other primary endpoint of overall survival; detailed results to be submitted for presentation at an upcoming medical congress

Merck and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced positive top-line results from the pivotal Phase III JAVELIN Renal 101 study evaluating BAVENCIO(R) (avelumab)* in combination with INLYTA(R) (axitinib)*, compared with SUTENT(R) (sunitinib) as initial therapy for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). As part of a planned interim analysis, an independent Data Monitoring Committee confirmed that the trial showed a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) by central review for patients treated with the combination whose tumors had programmed death ligand-1?positive (PD-L1+) expression greater than 1% (primary objective), as well as in the entire study population regardless of PD-L1 tumor expression (secondary objective). According to the statistical analysis plan, if PFS was statistically significant in the PD-L1+ subgroup, then PFS in the entire study population was to be analyzed for statistical significance. JAVELIN Renal 101 will continue as planned to the final analysis for the other primary endpoint of overall survival (OS). No new safety signals were observed, and adverse events for BAVENCIO, INLYTA and SUTENT in this trial were consistent with the known safety profiles for all three medicines. The alliance intends to pursue a regulatory submission in the US based on these interim results, and these results will be discussed with global health authorities. A detailed analysis will also be submitted for presentation at an upcoming medical congress.

"JAVELIN Renal 101 is the first positive Phase III study combining an immune checkpoint blocker with a TKI, supporting the potential of BAVENCIO and INLYTA as a new cancer treatment approach for patients with advanced RCC," said Chris Boshoff, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Immuno-Oncology, Early Development and Translational Oncology, Pfizer Global Product Development. "These positive results reinforce Pfizer's long-standing heritage in advancing standards of care for people with RCC, and we look forward to discussing these data in greater detail with health authorities."

In December 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for BAVENCIO in combination with INLYTA for treatment-naïve patients with advanced RCC. Despite available therapies, the outlook for patients with advanced RCC remains poor.[1] Approximately 20% to 30% of patients are first diagnosed at the metastatic stage.[2] The five-year survival rate for patients with metastatic RCC is approximately 12%.[1]

"We are encouraged by these data which illustrate the impact of BAVENCIO in combination with INLYTA as a potential first-line treatment for people with advanced RCC, a serious and life-threatening cancer," said Luciano Rossetti, M.D., Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research & Development at the Biopharma business of Merck. "They also support our firm belief in the promise of combining BAVENCIO with currently approved therapies and novel agents, a strong focus of the overall JAVELIN clinical development program."

JAVELIN Renal 101 is a global Phase III, multicenter, randomized (1:1) study investigating the efficacy and safety of BAVENCIO in combination with INLYTA as a first-line treatment option compared with SUTENT monotherapy in 886 patients with advanced RCC across all risk groups. The primary objectives are to demonstrate that BAVENCIO in combination with INLYTA is superior to SUTENT monotherapy in prolonging PFS or OS in patients with PD-L1+ tumors. BAVENCIO was administered at 10 mg/kg IV every two weeks in combination with INLYTA at 5 mg orally twice daily; SUTENT was administered at 50 mg orally once daily, four weeks on/two weeks off.

*The combination of BAVENCIO and INLYTA is under clinical investigation for advanced RCC, and there is no guarantee this combination will be approved for advanced RCC by any health authority worldwide. In the US, INLYTA is approved as monotherapy for the treatment of advanced RCC after failure of one prior systemic therapy. INLYTA is also approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in the EU in adult patients with advanced RCC after failure of prior treatment with SUTENT or a cytokine.

About the JAVELIN Clinical Development Program

The clinical development program for BAVENCIO, known as JAVELIN, involves at least 30 clinical programs, eight Phase III trials and more than 8,600 patients evaluated across more than 15 different tumor types. In addition to RCC, these tumor types include breast, gastric/gastro-esophageal junction, head and neck, Hodgkin's lymphoma, melanoma, mesothelioma, Merkel cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, ovarian and urothelial carcinoma.

About Renal Cell Carcinoma

RCC is the most common form of kidney cancer, accounting for about 2% to 3% of all cancers in adults.[3],[4] The most common type of RCC is clear cell carcinoma, accounting for approximately 70% of all cases.[3] In 2012, there were approximately 338,000 new cases of RCC diagnosed worldwide, with an estimated 63,340 cases expected in the US alone in 2018.[3],[5] Incidence varies substantially worldwide, with generally higher rates seen in North America and Central/Eastern Europe.[5]

About BAVENCIO(R)(avelumab)

BAVENCIO is a human anti-programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) antibody. BAVENCIO has been shown in preclinical models to engage both the adaptive and innate immune functions. By blocking the interaction of PD-L1 with PD-1 receptors, BAVENCIO has been shown to release the suppression of the T cell-mediated antitumor immune response in preclinical models.[6]-[8] BAVENCIO has also been shown to induce NK cell-mediated direct tumor cell lysis via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) in vitro.[8]-[10] In November 2014, Merck and Pfizer announced a strategic alliance to co-develop and co-commercialize BAVENCIO.

Approved Indications

The FDA granted accelerated approval for BAVENCIO for the treatment of (i) adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC) and (ii) patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy, or have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy. These indications are approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for these indications may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

BAVENCIO is also approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in the EU as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with mMCC.
Important Safety Information from the US FDA Approved Label

The warnings and precautions for BAVENCIO include immune-mediated adverse reactions (such as pneumonitis, hepatitis, colitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis and renal dysfunction, and other adverse reactions), infusion-related reactions and embryo-fetal toxicity.

Common adverse reactions (reported in at least 20% of patients) in patients treated with BAVENCIO for mMCC and patients with locally advanced or mUC include fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhea, nausea, infusion-related reaction, peripheral edema, decreased appetite/hypophagia, urinary tract infection and rash.

About INLYTA(R) (axitinib)

INLYTA is an oral therapy that is designed to inhibit tyrosine kinases, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors 1, 2 and 3; these receptors can influence tumor growth, vascular angiogenesis and progression of cancer (the spread of tumors). In the US, INLYTA is approved for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) after failure of one prior systemic therapy. INLYTA is also approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in the EU in adult patients with advanced RCC after failure of prior treatment with sunitinib or a cytokine.

INLYTA Important Safety Information

Hypertension including hypertensive crisis has been observed. Blood pressure should be well controlled prior to initiating INLYTA. Monitor for hypertension and treat as needed. For persistent hypertension, despite use of antihypertensive medications, reduce the dose. Discontinue INLYTA if hypertension is severe and persistent despite use of antihypertensive therapy and dose reduction of INLYTA, and discontinuation should be considered if there is evidence of hypertensive crisis.

Arterial and venous thrombotic events have been observed and can be fatal. Use with caution in patients who are at increased risk or who have a history of these events.

Hemorrhagic events, including fatal events, have been reported. INLYTA has not been studied in patients with evidence of untreated brain metastasis or recent active gastrointestinal bleeding and should not be used in those patients. If any bleeding requires medical intervention, temporarily interrupt the INLYTA dose.

Cardiac failure has been observed and can be fatal. Monitor for signs or symptoms of cardiac failure throughout treatment with INLYTA. Management of cardiac failure may require permanent discontinuation of INLYTA.

Gastrointestinal perforation and fistula, including death, have occurred. Use with caution in patients at risk for gastrointestinal perforation or fistula. Monitor for symptoms of gastrointestinal perforation or fistula periodically throughout treatment.

Hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement has been reported. Monitor thyroid function before initiation of, and periodically throughout, treatment.
No formal studies of the effect of INLYTA on wound healing have been conducted. Stop INLYTA at least 24 hours prior to scheduled surgery.
Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS) has been observed. If signs or symptoms occur, permanently discontinue treatment.
Monitor for proteinuria before initiation of, and periodically throughout, treatment. For moderate to severe proteinuria, reduce the dose or temporarily interrupt treatment.
Liver enzyme elevation has been observed during treatment with INLYTA. Monitor ALT, AST, and bilirubin before initiation of, and periodically throughout, treatment.
For patients with moderate hepatic impairment, the starting dose should be decreased. INLYTA has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment.
Women of childbearing potential should be advised of potential hazard to the fetus and to avoid becoming pregnant while receiving INLYTA.
Avoid strong CYP3A4/5 inhibitors. If unavoidable, reduce the dose. Grapefruit or grapefruit juice may also increase INLYTA plasma concentrations and should be avoided.
Avoid strong CYP3A4/5 inducers and, if possible, avoid moderate CYP3A4/5 inducers.

The most common (≥20%) adverse events (AEs) occurring in patients receiving INLYTA (all grades, vs sorafenib) were diarrhea (55% vs 53%), hypertension (40% vs 29%), fatigue (39% vs 32%), decreased appetite (34% vs 29%), nausea (32% vs 22%), dysphonia (31% vs 14%), hand-foot syndrome (27% vs 51%), weight decreased (25% vs 21%), vomiting (24% vs 17%), asthenia (21% vs 14%), and constipation (20% vs 20%).

The most common (≥10%) grade 3/4 AEs occurring in patients receiving INLYTA (vs sorafenib) were hypertension (16% vs 11%), diarrhea (11% vs 7%), and fatigue (11% vs 5%).

The most common (≥20%) lab abnormalities occurring in patients receiving INLYTA (all grades, vs sorafenib) included increased creatinine (55% vs 41%), decreased bicarbonate (44% vs 43%), hypocalcemia (39% vs 59%), decreased hemoglobin (35% vs 52%), decreased lymphocytes (absolute) (33% vs 36%), increased ALP (30% vs 34%), hyperglycemia (28% vs 23%), increased lipase (27% vs 46%), increased amylase (25% vs 33%), increased ALT (22% vs 22%), and increased AST (20% vs 25%).

For more information and full Prescribing Information, visit http://www.INLYTA.com .
SUTENT Important Safety Information

Boxed Warning/Hepatotoxicity has been observed in clinical trials and postmarketing experience. Hepatotoxicity may be severe, and in some cases fatal. Monitor hepatic function and interrupt, reduce, or discontinue dosing as recommended.Fatal liver failure has been observed. Monitor liver function tests before initiation of treatment, during each cycle of treatment, and as clinically indicated. Interrupt SUTENT for Grade 3 or 4 drug-related hepatic adverse reactions and discontinue if there is no resolution. Do not restart SUTENT if patients subsequently experience severe changes in liver function tests or have signs and symptoms of liver failure.

Cardiovascular events, including myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, left ventricular ejection fraction declines to below the lower limit of normal and cardiac failure including death have occurred. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure. Discontinue SUTENT for clinical manifestations of congestive heart failure. In patients without cardiac risk factors, a baseline evaluation of ejection fraction should be considered. Baseline and periodic evaluations of left ventricular ejection fraction should also be considered while these patients are receiving SUTENT.

SUTENT can cause QT Prolongation in a dose-dependent manner, which may lead to an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias including Torsades de Pointes, which has been seen in <0.1% of patients. Monitor patients that are at a higher risk for developing QT interval prolongation, including those with a history of QT interval prolongation, patients who are taking antiarrhythmics, or patients with relevant pre-existing cardiac disease, bradycardia, or electrolyte disturbances. Consider monitoring of electrocardiograms and electrolytes. Concomitant treatment with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors may increase sunitinib plasma concentrations and dose reduction of SUTENT should be considered.

Hypertension may occur. Monitor blood pressure and treat as needed with standard antihypertensive therapy. In cases of severe hypertension, temporary suspension of SUTENT is recommended until hypertension is controlled.

Hemorrhagic events, including tumor-related hemorrhage, and viscus perforation (both with fatal events) have occurred. These events may occur suddenly, and in the case of pulmonary tumors, may present as severe and life-threatening hemoptysis or pulmonary hemorrhage. Perform serial complete blood counts (CBCs) and physical examinations.

Cases of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) (some fatal) have been reported. Patients generally at risk of TLS are those with high tumor burden prior to treatment. Monitor these patients closely and treat as clinically indicated.

Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and hemolytic uremic syndrome, sometimes leading to renal failure or a fatal outcome, has been reported in patients who received SUTENT as monotherapy and in combination with bevacizumab. Discontinue SUTENT in patients developing TMA. Reversal of the effects of TMA has been observed after treatment was discontinued.

Proteinuria and nephrotic syndrome have been reported. Some of these cases have resulted in renal failure and fatal outcomes. Monitor patients for the development or worsening of proteinuria. Perform baseline and periodic urinalysis during treatment, with follow-up measurement of 24-hour urine protein as clinically indicated. Interrupt treatment for 24-hour urine protein ≥3 grams. Discontinue for repeat episodes of protein ≥3 grams despite dose reductions or nephrotic syndrome.

Dermatologic toxicities: Severe cutaneous reactions have been reported, including cases of necrotizing fasciitis, erythema multiforme (EM), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), some of which were fatal. If signs or symptoms of EM, SJS, or TEN are present, discontinue SUTENT treatment. If a diagnosis of SJS or TEN is suspected, treatment must not be restarted.

Necrotizing fasciitis, including fatal cases, has been reported, including of the perineum and secondary to fistula formation. Discontinue SUTENT in patients who develop necrotizing fasciitis.

Thyroid dysfunction may occur. Monitor thyroid function in patients with signs and/or symptoms suggestive of thyroid dysfunction, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroiditis, and treat per standard medical practice.

Hypoglycemia may occur. SUTENT can result in symptomatic hypoglycemia, which may lead to a loss of consciousness or require hospitalization. Reductions in blood glucose levels may be worse in patients with diabetes. Check blood glucose levels regularly during and after discontinuation of treatment with SUTENT. Assess if antidiabetic drug dosage needs to be adjusted to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia.

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) has been reported. Consider preventive dentistry prior to treatment with SUTENT. If possible, avoid invasive dental procedures, particularly in patients receiving intravenous bisphosphonate therapy.

Impaired wound healing has occurred with SUTENT. Temporary interruption of therapy with SUTENT is recommended in patients undergoing major surgical procedures. There is limited clinical experience regarding the timing of reinitiation of therapy following major surgical intervention. Therefore, the decision to resume SUTENT therapy following a major surgical intervention should be based upon clinical judgment of recovery from surgery.

Embryo fetal toxicity and reproductive potential

Females - SUTENT can cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with SUTENT and for 4 weeks following the final dose.

Males - Based on findings in animal reproduction studies, advise male patients with female partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with SUTENT and for 7 weeks after the last dose.

Male and female infertility - based on findings in animals, male and female fertility may be compromised by treatment with SUTENT

Lactation: Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfed infants from SUTENT, advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment with SUTENT and for at least 4 weeks after the last dose.

Venous thromboembolic events: In patients treated with SUTENT (N=7527) for GIST, advanced RCC, adjuvant treatment of RCC and pNET, 3.5% of patients experienced a venous thromboembolic event; 2.2% Grade 3-4.

There have been (<1%) reports, some fatal, of subjects presenting with seizures and radiological evidence of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). Patients with seizures and signs/symptoms consistent with RPLS, such as hypertension, headache, decreased alertness, altered mental functioning, and visual loss, including cortical blindness, should be controlled with medical management including control of hypertension. Temporary suspension of SUTENT is recommended; following resolution, treatment may be resumed at the discretion of the treating healthcare provider.

Pancreatic function: In a trial of patients receiving adjuvant treatment for RCC, 1 patient (<1%) on SUTENT and none on placebo experienced pancreatitis.

CYP3A4 inhibitors and inducers: Dose adjustments are recommended when SUTENT is administered with CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers. During treatment with SUTENT, patients should not drink grapefruit juice, eat grapefruit, or take St. John's Wort.

Most common ARs & most common grade 3/4 ARs (adjuvant RCC): The most common ARs reported in ≥20% of patients receiving SUTENT for adjuvant treatment of RCC and more commonly than in patients given placebo (all grades, vs placebo) were mucositis/stomatitis (61% vs 15%), diarrhea (57% vs 22%), fatigue/asthenia (57% vs 34%), hand-foot syndrome (50% vs 10%), hypertension (39% vs 14%), altered taste (38% vs 6%), nausea (34% vs 15%), dyspepsia (27% vs 7%), abdominal pain (25% vs 9%), hypothyroidism/TSH increased (24% vs 4%), rash (24% vs 12%), hair color changes (22% vs 2%). The most common grade 3/4 ARs reported in ≥5% of patients receiving SUTENT for adjuvant treatment of RCC and more commonly than in patients given placebo (vs placebo) were hand-foot syndrome (16% vs <1%), fatigue/asthenia (8% vs 2%), hypertension (8% vs 1%), and mucositis/stomatitis (6% vs 0%).

Most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (adjuvant RCC): The most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (occurring in ≥ 2% of patients receiving SUTENT) included neutropenia (13%), thrombocytopenia (5%), leukopenia (3%), lymphopenia (3%), elevated alanine aminotransferase (2%), elevated aspartate aminotransferase (2%), hyperglycemia (2%), and hyperkalemia (2%).

Most common ARs & most common grade 3/4 ARs (advanced RCC): The most common ARs reported in ≥20% of patients receiving SUTENT for treatment-naïve metastatic RCC (all grades, vs IFNα) were diarrhea (66% vs 21%), fatigue (62% vs 56%), nausea (58% vs 41%), anorexia (48% vs 42%), altered taste (47% vs 15%), mucositis/stomatitis (47% vs 5%), pain in extremity/limb discomfort (40% vs 30%), vomiting (39% vs 17%), bleeding, all sites (37% vs 10%), hypertension (34% vs 4%), dyspepsia (34% vs 4%), arthralgia (30% vs 19%), abdominal pain (30% vs 12%), rash (29% vs 11%), hand-foot syndrome (29% vs 1%), back pain (28% vs 14%), cough (27% vs 14%), asthenia (26% vs 22%), dyspnea (26% vs 20%), skin discoloration/yellow skin (25% vs 0%), peripheral edema (24% vs 5%), headache (23% vs 19%), constipation (23% vs 14%), dry skin (23% vs 7%), fever (22% vs 37%), and hair color changes (20% vs <1%). The most common grade 3/4 ARs reported in ≥5% of patients with RCC receiving SUTENT (vs IFNα) were fatigue (15% vs 15%), hypertension (13% vs <1%), asthenia (11% vs 6%), diarrhea (10% vs <1%), hand-foot syndrome (8% vs 0%), dyspnea (6% vs 4%), nausea (6% vs 2%), back pain (5% vs 2%), pain in extremity/limb discomfort (5% vs 2%), vomiting (5% vs 1%), and abdominal pain (5% vs 1%).

Most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (advanced RCC): The most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (occurring in ≥5% of patients with RCC receiving SUTENT vs IFNα) included lymphocytes (18% vs 26%), lipase (18% vs 8%), neutrophils (17% vs 9%), uric acid (14% vs 8%), platelets (9% vs 1%), hemoglobin (8% vs 5%), sodium decreased (8% vs 4%), leukocytes (8% vs 2%), glucose increased (6% vs 6%), phosphorus (6% vs 6%), and amylase (6% vs 3%).

Most common ARs & most common grade 3/4 ARs (imatinib-resistant or -intolerant GIST): The most common ARsreported in ≥20% of patients with GIST and more commonly with SUTENT than placebo (all grades, vs placebo) were diarrhea (40% vs 27%), anorexia (33% vs 29%), skin discoloration (30% vs 23%), mucositis/stomatitis (29% vs 18%), asthenia (22% vs 11%), altered taste (21% vs 12%), and constipation (20% vs 14%). The most common grade 3/4 ARs reported in ≥4% of patients with GIST receiving SUTENT (vs placebo) were asthenia (5% vs 3%), hand-foot syndrome (4% vs 3%), diarrhea (4% vs 0%), and hypertension (4% vs0%).

Most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (imatinib-resistant or - intolerant GIST): The most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (occurring in ≥5% of patients with GIST receiving SUTENT vs placebo) included lipase (10% vs 7%), neutrophils (10% vs 0%), amylase (5% vs 3%), and platelets (5% vs 0%).

Most common ARs & most common grade 3/4 ARs (advanced pNET): The most common ARs reported in ≥20% of patients with advanced pNET and more commonly with SUTENT than placebo (all grades, vs placebo) were diarrhea (59% vs 39%), stomatitis/oral syndromes (48% vs 18%), nausea (45% vs 29%), abdominal pain (39% vs 34%), vomiting (34% vs 31%), asthenia (34% vs 27%), fatigue (33% vs 27%), hair color changes (29% vs 1%), hypertension (27% vs 5%), hand-foot syndrome (23% vs 2%), bleeding events (22% vs 10%), epistaxis (21% vs 5%), and dysgeusia (21% vs 5%). The most common grade 3/4 ARs reported in ≥5% of patients with advanced pNET receiving SUTENT (vs placebo) were hypertension (10% vs 1%), hand-foot syndrome (6% vs 0%), stomatitis/oral syndromes (6% vs 0%), abdominal pain (5% vs 10%), fatigue (5% vs 9%), asthenia (5% vs 4%), and diarrhea (5% vs 2%).

Most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (advanced pNET): The most common grade 3/4 lab abnormalities (occurring in ≥5% of patients with advanced pNET receiving SUTENT vs placebo) included decreased neutrophils (16% vs 0%), increased glucose (12% vs 18%), increased alkaline phosphatase (10% vs 11%), decreased phosphorus (7% vs 5%), decreased lymphocytes (7% vs 4%), increased creatinine (5% vs 5%), increased lipase (5% vs 4%), increased AST (5% vs 3%), and decreased platelets (5% vs 0%).

Please see full Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNING and Medication Guide, for SUTENT(R) (sunitinib malate) at http://www.SUTENT.com .
About SUTENT(R) (sunitinib malate)

Sunitinib is a small molecule that inhibits multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, some of which are implicated in tumor growth, pathologic angiogenesis, and metastatic progression of cancer. Sunitinib was evaluated for its inhibitory activity against a variety of kinases (>80 kinases) and was identified as an inhibitor of platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFRα and PDGFRβ), vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3), stem cell factor receptor (KIT), Fms-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3), colony stimulating factor receptor Type 1 (CSF-1R), and the glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor receptor (RET).

SUTENT is indicated in the US for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) after disease progression on or intolerance to imatinib mesylate; the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC); the adjuvant treatment of adult patients at high risk of recurrent RCC following nephrectomy; the treatment of progressive, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic disease.

About Merck-Pfizer Alliance

Immuno-oncology is a top priority for Merck and Pfizer. The global strategic alliance between Merck and Pfizer enables the companies to benefit from each other's strengths and capabilities and further explore the therapeutic potential of BAVENCIO (avelumab), an anti-PD-L1 antibody initially discovered and developed by Merck. The immuno-oncology alliance is jointly developing and commercializing BAVENCIO and advancing Pfizer's PD-1 antibody. The alliance is focused on developing high-priority international clinical programs to investigate BAVENCIO, as a monotherapy, as well as combination regimens, and is striving to find new ways to treat cancer.

All Merck Press Releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to http://www.merckgroup.com/subscribe to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service.

About Merck

Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Almost 53,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2017, Merck generated sales of EUR 15.3 billion in 66 countries.

Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the "Merck" name and brand except in the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world(R)

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at http://www.pfizer.com . In addition, to learn more, please visit us on http://www.pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.

Pfizer Disclosure Notice

The information contained in this release is as of September 11, 2018. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.

This release contains forward-looking information about BAVENCIO (avelumab), including a potential new indication for BAVENCIO in combination with INLYTA (axitinib) for the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (the "Potential Indication"), the Merck-Pfizer Alliance involving anti-PD-L1 and anti-PD-1 therapies, and clinical development plans, including their potential benefits, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, uncertainties regarding the commercial success of BAVENCIO; the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical study commencement and completion dates and regulatory submission dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable study results, including unfavorable new clinical data and additional analyses of existing clinical data and uncertainties regarding whether the other primary endpoint of JAVELIN Renal 101 will be met; risks associated with interim data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations, and, even when we view data as sufficient to support the safety and/or effectiveness of a product candidate, regulatory authorities may not share our views and may require additional data or may deny approval altogether; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from our clinical studies; whether and when any drug applications may be filed for BAVENCIO in any jurisdictions for the Potential Indication or for any other potential indications for BAVENCIO, combination therapies or other product candidates; whether and when regulatory authorities in any jurisdictions where applications are pending or may be submitted for BAVENCIO, combination therapies or other product candidates may approve any such applications, which will depend on the assessment by such regulatory authorities of the benefit-risk profile suggested by the totality of the efficacy and safety information submitted; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of BAVENCIO, combination therapies or other product candidates, including the Potential Indication and competitive developments.

A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results", as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at http://www.sec.gov and http://www.pfizer.com .

References
1. National Cancer Institute: SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Kidney and renal pelvis. Available from: http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/kidrp.html . Accessed July 2018.
2. Ljungberg B, Campbell S and Cho H. The Epidemiology of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Eur Urol. 2011;60:615-621.
3. American Cancer Society. What is kidney cancer? Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidney-cancer/about.html . Accessed July 2018.
4. Escudier B, Porta C, Schmidinger M et al Renal cell carcinoma: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annal Oncol. 2014; 25(Suppl3):iii49-iii56.
5. World Cancer Research Fund International: Kidney cancer statistics. Available from: http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/kidney-cancer-statistics . Accessed July 2018.
6. Dolan DE, Gupta S. PD-1 pathway inhibitors: changing the landscape of cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Control. 2014;21(3):231-237.
7. Dahan R, Sega E, Engelhardt J, Selby M, Korman AJ, Ravetch JV. FcγRs modulate the anti-tumor activity of antibodies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis. Cancer Cell. 2015;28(3):285-295.

8. Boyerinas B, Jochems C, Fantini M, et al. Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity activity of a novel anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab (MSB0010718C) on human tumor cells. Cancer Immunol Res. 2015;3(10):1148-1157.

9. Kohrt HE, Houot R, Marabelle A, et al. Combination strategies to enhance antitumor ADCC. Immunotherapy. 2012;4(5):511-527.
10. Hamilton G, Rath B. Avelumab: combining immune checkpoint inhibition and antibody-dependent cytotoxicity. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2017;17(4):515-523.
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In a humanitarian effort, PULSUS Group - in collaboration with Anbu Kochi - is responding to the calamity of the recent, unprecedented floods in the Indian state of Kerala by providing contributions to aid relief and rehabilitation measures. PULSUS Group...

Menarini Ricerche Announces New Positive Results in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cell Lines for MEN1112/OBT357 at the 60th Annual SIC Meeting

Menarini Ricerche will present tomorrow, September 20th, at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Italian Cancer Society (SIC), new preclinical data showing that pre-treatment with 5-Azacytidine and Decitabine enhances the Antibody-dependent cellular...

Experts Call for Improved Identification of #High Burden# Rosacea Patients in Everyday Practice

- Additional analysis of global survey data reveals quality of life is impacted by several factors extending beyond severity of rosacea alone Additional analysis of a global survey conducted and presented earlier this year, as an expert-authored report...

BookDoc collaborates with Chow Tai Fook: Get more rewards by staying active together with Chow Tai Fook

Chow Tai Fook is collaborating with BookDoc, the largest integrated healthcare app in Southeast Asia by healthcare network in giving more rewards to BookDoc users for maintaining an active healthy lifestyle. Users can now enjoy discounts and redeem...

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