FDA Accepts Application for Pediatric Combo Vaccine

Hexavalent vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B.

Hexavalent vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, and hepatitis B.

Merck and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced recently that the Biologics License Application (BLA) filed for the companies’ investigational pediatric hexavalent vaccine, DTaP5-IPV-Hib-HepB1, has been accepted for review by the FDA.

If approved, it would be the first pediatric combination vaccine in the United States designed to help protect against six important diseases — diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio (poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3), invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and hepatitis B.

“We are excited about reaching another key milestone in the development of this investigational pediatric vaccine against six important diseases,” said Robin Isaacs, M.D., Vice President, Vaccine Clinical Research, Merck Vaccines.

“Leading organizations — the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians – generally recommend the use of combination vaccines instead of individual injections,” said John Shiver, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Sanofi Pasteur.

Phase III Clinical Study Data Presented at IDWeek

Data from a Phase III study for the investigational pediatric hexavalent vaccine were recently presented at IDWeek in Philadelphia. This Phase III study, a randomized, open-label, active-comparator controlled clinical trial with more than 1,400 infants at multiple centers across the United States, evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of the investigational pediatric hexavalent vaccine versus licensed comparator vaccines. The investigational and comparator vaccines were given at two, four, and six months of age.

In the study, healthy infants were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive either the investigational pediatric hexavalent vaccine (Group 1) or Sanofi Pasteur’s Pentacel2 plus Merck’s Recombivax HB 3(Group 2). Antibody levels after the third infant doses were measured, and from these measurements 19 primary comparisons between Groups 1 and 2 were evaluated. For 18 of these 19 comparisons (all but one pertussis comparison), the antibodies in the Group 1 infants were non-inferior to those in the Group 2 infants. After the toddler dose of licensed vaccines, antibodies were again measured; the Group 1 antibodies were non-inferior to those in Group 2 for all 8 pertussis comparisons.

The most common, solicited, systemic adverse events following any dose of the investigational hexavalent vaccine were irritability (83%), crying (75%), and drowsiness (74%). Solicited systemic adverse event rates after any dose were similar following administration of the investigational pediatric hexavalent vaccine versus control with the exception of increased rates of fever, which was mostly mild to moderate in intensity and two days or fewer in duration.

“We are encouraged by the results of this Phase III trial,” said Gary S. Marshall, M.D., professor of pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, and lead investigator of the study. “This investigational combination vaccine against six important diseases showed similar immune responses against the antigens covered by licensed vaccines.”

The partnership between Merck and Sanofi Pasteur draws upon both companies' experience in the development, manufacturing and marketing of individual and combination vaccines. This pediatric hexavalent vaccine includes antigens for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and polio (poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3) from Sanofi Pasteur and antigens for Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B from Merck.

###

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 Sanofi

Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT:SAN) and in New York (NYSE:SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers a broad range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us.

SOURCE: Merck