Merck to Present New Data for VICTRELIS® (boceprevir) and MK-5172 at The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

  Merck to Present New Data for VICTRELIS® (boceprevir) and MK-5172 at The
  American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2012 Annual Meeting

Business Wire

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- October 01, 2012

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada,
announced today that new data from Phase III studies of VICTRELIS^®
(boceprevir) 200 mg Capsules, the company’s oral hepatitis C virus (HCV)
NS3/4A protease inhibitor will be presented at the 63^rd Annual Meeting of the
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The meeting will
take place November 9-13 in Boston.

More than 20 abstracts highlighting Merck medicines and investigational
therapies for chronic HCV will be presented at AASLD, including two oral
presentations and six posters on VICTRELIS. New data will also be presented on
the efficacy and safety of MK-5172, Merck’s investigational, once-daily,
second generation oral HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor, in patients chronically
infected with HCV genotype 1.

“We are pleased to present new data on VICTRELIS that provides healthcare
professionals with information that may better inform them as they consider
VICTRELIS combination therapy for appropriate patients,” said Eliav Barr,
M.D., vice president, Infectious Diseases, Project Leadership and Management,
Merck Research Laboratories. "We also look forward to continued discussions
with the global scientific and patient communities about Merck's
investigational medicines for chronic hepatitis C, as we remain committed to
reducing the burden of this serious disease worldwide."

The abstracts were published today and can be accessed on the AASLD website.
For program information, please visit

Key presentations for VICTRELIS (boceprevir)

Boceprevir (BOC) Combined with Peginterferon alfa-2b/Ribavirin (P/RBV) in
Treatment-Naïve Chronic HCV Genotype 1 Patients with Compensated Cirrhosis:
Sustained Virologic Response (SVR) and Safety Subanalyses From the Anemia
Management Study. Lawitz, F. et al. Oral Presentation: Sunday, Nov. 11, 3:15
p.m.-3:30 p.m., Hynes Convention Center, Ballroom B/C.

Timing and Magnitude of Ribavirin Dose Reduction (RBV DR) Do Not Impact
Sustained Virologic Response Rates with Boceprevir (BOC) + Peginterferon
alfa-2b / Ribavirin (P/RBV) in the Anemia Management Study in Chronic HCV
Genotype 1 Patients. Poordad, F. et al. Oral Presentation: Monday, Nov. 12,
3:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m., Hynes Convention Center, Ballroom B/C.

Other key Merck presentations

Safety and Sustained Viral Response of MK-5172 for 12 Weeks in Combination
with Pegylated Interferon Alfa-2b and Ribavirin for 24 Weeks in HCV Genotype 1
Treatment-Naïve Noncirrhotic Patients. Marcellin, P. et al. Poster 766.
Sunday, Nov. 11, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Hynes Convention Center Poster Hall.

MK-5172, A Potent Second-Generation HCV NS3/4a Protease Inhibitor, Retains
Potent in vitro Activity Against a Panel of Boceprevir Resistant HCV G1a and
G1b Patient Isolates. Ogert, R.A. et al. Poster 1724. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 8:00
a.m.-12:00 p.m., Hynes Convention Center Poster Hall. Selected as a
Presidential Poster of Distinction.

Indications and usage for VICTRELIS

VICTRELIS is indicated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)
genotype 1 (G1) infection, in combination with peginterferon alfa and
ribavirin (PR), in adult patients (18 years and older) with compensated liver
disease, including cirrhosis, who are previously untreated or who have failed
previous interferon and ribavirin therapy.

The following points should be considered when initiating VICTRELIS for
treatment of chronic HCV infection:

  *VICTRELIS must not be used as monotherapy and should only be used in
    combination with PR.
  *VICTRELIS efficacy has not been studied in patients who have previously
    failed therapy with a treatment regimen that includes VICTRELIS or other
    HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitors.
  *VICTRELIS in combination with PR has not been studied in patients
    documented to be historical null responders (less than a 2 log HCV-RNA
    decline by treatment week 12) during prior therapy with PR. The clinical
    studies included patients who were poorly interferon responsive. Patients
    with less than 0.5 log HCV-RNA decline in viral load at treatment week 4
    with PR alone are predicted to have a null response (less than a 2 log
    viral load decline by treatment week 12) to PR therapy.
  *Poorly interferon responsive patients who were treated with VICTRELIS in
    combination with PR have a lower likelihood of achieving a sustained
    virologic response (SVR), and higher rate of detection of
    resistance-associated substitutions upon treatment failure, compared to
    patients with a greater response to PR.

Important safety information about VICTRELIS

All contraindications to PR also apply since VICTRELIS must be administered
with PR. Because ribavirin may cause birth defects and fetal death, VICTRELIS
in combination with PR is contraindicated in pregnant women and in men whose
female partners are pregnant. Avoid pregnancy in female patients and female
partners of male patients. Patients must have a negative pregnancy test prior
to therapy; have monthly pregnancy tests; and use two or more forms of
effective contraception, including intrauterine devices and barrier methods,
during treatment and for at least 6 months after treatment has concluded.
Systemic hormonal contraceptives may not be as effective in women while taking

VICTRELIS is contraindicated in coadministration with drugs that are highly
dependent on CYP3A4/5 for clearance, and for which elevated plasma
concentrations are associated with serious and/or life-threatening events.
VICTRELIS also is contraindicated in coadministration with potent CYP3A4/5
inducers, where significantly reduced VICTRELIS plasma concentrations may be
associated with reduced efficacy. Drugs that are contraindicated with
VICTRELIS include: alfuzosin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin,
rifampin, dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine,
cisapride, St. John's Wort (hypericum perforatum), lovastatin, simvastatin,
drosperinone, Revatio^® (sildenafil) or Adcirca^® (tadalafil) (when used for
the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension), pimozide, triazolam, and
orally administered midazolam.

Anemia and/or Neutropenia -- The addition of VICTRELIS to PR is associated
with an additional decrease in hemoglobin concentrations compared to PR alone
and/or may result in worsening of neutropenia associated with PR therapy
alone. Dose reduction or discontinuation of peginterferon alfa and/or
ribavirin may be required. Dose reduction of VICTRELIS is not recommended.
VICTRELIS must not be administered in the absence of PR.

Complete blood counts (with white blood cell differential counts) must be
conducted in all patients prior to initiating combination therapy with
VICTRELIS. Complete blood counts should be obtained at treatment weeks 4, 8
and 12, and should be monitored closely at other time points, as clinically

The most commonly reported adverse reactions (greater than 35 percent) in
clinical trials in adult patients receiving the combination of VICTRELIS with
PR were fatigue, anemia, nausea, headache and dysgeusia. Of these commonly
reported adverse reactions, fatigue, anemia, nausea, and dysgeusia occurred at
rates greater than or equal to 5 percent above the rates for PR alone in
either clinical study. The incidence of these adverse reactions in previously
untreated patients who were treated with combination therapy with VICTRELIS
compared with peginterferon and ribavirin alone were: fatigue (58 vs. 59
percent), anemia (50 vs. 30 percent), nausea (46 vs. 42 percent) and dysgeusia
(35 vs. 16 percent), respectively. The incidence of these adverse reactions in
previous treatment-failure patients who were treated with combination therapy
with VICTRELIS compared with PR alone were: fatigue (55 vs. 50 percent),
anemia (45 vs. 20 percent), nausea (43 vs. 38 percent) and dysgeusia (44 vs.
11 percent), respectively.

VICTRELIS is a strong inhibitor of CYP3A4/5 and is partly metabolized by
CYP3A4/5. The potential for drug-drug interactions must be considered prior to
and during therapy.

Please see U.S. prescribing information at:

Merck's global commitment to advancing hepatitis therapy

Merck is committed to building on its strong legacy in the field of viral
hepatitis by continuing to discover, develop and deliver vaccines and
medicines to help prevent and treat viral hepatitis. In hepatitis C, company
researchers developed the first approved therapy for chronic HCV in 1991 and
the first combination therapy in 1998. In addition to ongoing studies with
VICTRELIS, extensive research efforts are underway to develop additional
innovative oral therapies for viral hepatitis treatment.

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 consumer care 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 and
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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. Such statements may include, but are not limited to,
statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough,
including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s
plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are
not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and
expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and
uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the
forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from
those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that all of
the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not
be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the
impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in
the United States and internationally; Merck’s ability to accurately predict
future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents
and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to 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 2011
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

Please see Prescribing Information for VICTRELIS at and
Medication Guide for VICTRELIS at

VICTRELIS^® is a trademark of Schering Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co.,
Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., USA.

Revatio^® and Adcirca^® are trademarks of their respective owners and are not
trademarks of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., USA.


Pamela Eisele, 908-423-5042
Lainie Keller, 908-423-4187
Carol Ferguson, 908-423-4465
Justin Holko, 908-423-5088
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