Merck to Present Latest Cancer Research Advancements at ASCO 2024

First-in-human data for the potential first-in-class anti-CEACAM5 ADC with topoisomerase 1 inhibitor payload, M9140, in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer to be featured in an oral presentation. Phase I data for tuvusertib, the lead asset from the company’s unique portfolio of DDR inhibitors, including an oral presentation on its combination with a PARP inhibitor, support further clinical development. New analyses contribute to the evidence supporting BAVENCIO as a first-line maintenance treatment in advanced bladder cancer.

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that new research from its diverse oncology portfolio will be presented at the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, taking place from May 31 to June 4 in Chicago. The presentations will include data from 31 accepted abstracts across more than 10 tumor types, featuring seven oral presentations that highlight the company’s innovative oncology pipeline.

“Our research at the 2024 ASCO Annual Meeting underscores the advancement of our novel pipeline designed to target the major vulnerabilities of cancer, with new data from our lead investigational antibody-drug conjugate and our DNA damage response portfolio,” said Victoria Zazulina, M.D., Head of Development Unit, Oncology, for the Healthcare business of Merck. “In addition, new analyses from pivotal studies and collaborations demonstrate our commitment to maximizing the impact of our standard-of-care treatments as we strive to improve the lives of those living with cancer.”

Key data highlights include:

M9140 (Abstract 3000): First-in-human data for the anti-CEACAM5 ADC with exatecan payload. This Phase I trial assesses the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and preliminary clinical activity in heavily pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer patients. Data from 40 patients treated across seven dose levels showed encouraging clinical activity and a manageable safety profile. The randomized dose-expansion part of the study is ongoing.

Tuvusertib (Abstracts 3018, 2612, 2614): New findings for the oral ATRi from Merck’s DDR inhibitors portfolio. The DDRiver™ Clinical Trials program highlights the potential of tuvusertib in various combinations across solid tumors. Phase I data show a manageable safety profile and preliminary efficacy of tuvusertib combined with the PARP inhibitor niraparib, confirming its suitability for further evaluation. Additional studies on combinations with the ATM inhibitor lartesertib and BAVENCIO® (avelumab) further support the potential of these combinations.

Xevinapant (Abstract e18039): Post-hoc independent review confirmation of Phase II efficacy data for the IAP inhibitor xevinapant combined with chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in patients with unresected locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (LA SCCHN). This analysis showed consistent outcomes, with a 62% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death compared to placebo plus CRT.

BAVENCIO (avelumab) (Abstracts 4566, 4567): Long-term efficacy and safety analyses from the Phase III JAVELIN Bladder 100 study confirm the benefit of BAVENCIO first-line maintenance in key subgroups of advanced urothelial carcinoma patients, particularly those with low tumor burden. These findings support the use of the JAVELIN Bladder regimen as a standard of care.

TEPMETKO® (tepotinib) (Abstract 8575): Health-related quality-of-life data from the Phase II VISION study in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring METex14 skipping alterations. These patients experienced stable HRQoL during treatment, with trends for improvement in cough.

Merck’s presentations at ASCO 2024 will also include additional sessions and lectures, further contributing to the oncology community’s understanding of new and effective cancer treatments.

Advancing the Future of Cancer Care

At Merck, our research focuses on exploring the full potential of promising mechanisms in cancer treatment, aimed at creating a world where more cancer patients become cancer survivors. We are committed to maximizing the impact of our standard-of-care treatments and pioneering novel medicines designed to target cancer at its core.

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