MAGNIFY-MS retrospective analysis demonstrates patients develop protective antibody levels for at least six months following seasonal influenza and varicella zoster vaccines, irrespective of vaccine timing relative to MAVENCLAD dosingInitial findings from the CLOCK-MS vaccine sub-study show protective influenza antibody levels at four weeks post-vaccination in MS patients taking MAVENCLADIn both studies, protective antibody levels were maintained or increased independent of lymphocyte countsDARMSTADT, Germany, Feb. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --Not intended for UK and U.S. based mediaMerck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the presentation of a new analysis from the MAGNIFY-MS study on MAVENCLAD® (cladribine tablets) in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2021, being held virtually 25-27 February 2021. The data indicate that RMS patients receiving MAVENCLAD are able to mount a response to seasonal influenza and varicella zoster vaccination. "Understanding vaccine efficacy in MS patients is particularly important in the face of the current pandemic and the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines," said Klaus Schmierer, Professor of Neurology at Queen Mary University of London and The Royal London Hospital, UK. "Whilst this new information is based on a small cohort of patients receiving influenza and varicella zoster vaccines, it provides physicians with preliminary evidence that patients taking MAVENCLAD are able to mount and maintain effective vaccine responses."The retrospective analysis was conducted to evaluate the protective antibody response to seasonal influenza (n=12) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccination (n=3) in patients treated with MAVENCLAD. Blood samples taken before and after vaccination were examined. In patients who received the seasonal influenza vaccine, protective antibody levels were maintained or increased for at least six months independent of lymphocyte counts measured at the time of vaccination in year 1 or 2 of MAVENCLAD treatment. In patients who received the VZV vaccine before year 1 initiation of MAVENCLAD, protective VZV antibody levels were maintained over six months post-initiation with MAVENCLAD, despite lymphocyte depletion. These results were consistent irrespective of when the patients received the vaccine relative to their MAVENCLAD treatment. In the CLOCK-MS vaccine sub-study analysis, three relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients had received at least one dose of MAVENCLAD prior to receiving an influenza vaccine. Protective antibody levels were increased at four weeks post-vaccination in all three patients. Two of these patients, who had received treatment with MAVENCLAD two and four months prior to vaccination, were experiencing lymphopenia around the time of vaccination."In an ever changing world where a pandemic will likely be present for the foreseeable future, it is critical to assess the impact of common non-live vaccinations in those taking disease modifying therapies," said Maria Rivas, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthcare business of Merck. "We are committed to communicating timely real-world evaluations of our therapies to help answer relevant questions raised by the MS community." About MAVENCLAD® MAVENCLAD® is a short-course oral therapy that selectively and periodically targets lymphocytes thought to be integral to the pathological process of relapsing MS (RMS). In August 2017, the European Commission (EC) granted marketing authorization for MAVENCLAD® for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) in addition to Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. MAVENCLAD® has since then been approved in over 80 countries, including Canada, Australia and the U.S. Refer to the respective prescribing information for further details.The clinical development programme for cladribine tablets includes:In the two-year CLARITY study, the most commonly reported adverse event (AE) in patients treated with cladribine tablets was lymphopenia (26.7% with cladribine tablets and 1.8% for placebo). The incidence of infections was 48.3% with cladribine tablets and 42.5% with placebo, with 99.1% and 99.0% respectively rated mild-to-moderate by investigators. Adverse Events reported in other clinical studies were similar.About Multiple SclerosisMultiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system and is the most common non-traumatic, disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated approximately 2.8 million people have MS worldwide. While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.Merck in Neurology and ImmunologyMerck has a long-standing legacy in neurology and immunology, with significant R&D and commercial experience in multiple sclerosis (MS). The company`s current MS portfolio includes two products for the treatment of relapsing MS – Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) and MAVENCLAD® (cladribine tablets). Merck aims to improve the lives of patients by addressing areas of unmet medical needs. In addition to Merck's commitment to MS, the company also have a pipeline focusing on discovering new therapies that have the potential in other neuroimmune diseases.All Merck Press Releases are distributed by email at the same time they become available on the Merck Website. Please go to www.merckgroup.com/subscribe to register online, change your selection or discontinue this service. About MerckMerck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people's lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of € 16.2 billion in 66 countries.Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck's technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.Logo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1136775/Merck_Logo.jpg  Contact:tone-brauti.fritzen@merckgroup.com+49 151 1454 2694

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