Mercks CINV Drug Effective in Late-Stage Trial

Published Date : Jul 02, 2014

Merck & Co Inc., the U.S.-based pharmaceutical company, has confirmed that Emend - its drug treating nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy– has proved to be more effectual than a placebo in a late-stage trial in children. The pharma company plans to file for marketing approval of the drug for the recent pediatric formulation in the second half on 2014.

Over 70% cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy suffer from nausea and/or vomiting, a common side-effect. This often results in delay or termination of the treatment course. Nausea and vomiting over a prolonged period may lead to dehydration, weight loss and malnutrition. It also has an adverse effect on the quality of life for the patient and overall health.

The trial conducted by Merck showed that 51% of the patients receiving the active agent i.e. Emend showed no signs of vomiting, retching or need for medication for nausea and vomiting 25 to 120 hours after the beginning of chemotherapy, as against 26% patients who were administered a placebo. 

Emend has already been approved for treating CINV in adults and sold units worth USD 507 million across the globe in 2013.

The only other drug that currently stands to compete with Merck’s Emend, is Tesaro Inc’s Rolapitant. The drug is still in its experimental stage and seeking approval. Tesaro is in the process of developing oral and IV formulations of Rolapitant.

The active substance of Emend is aprepitant, which helps in preventing CINV. Aprepitant antagonizes the receptor which is critical in the regulation of vomiting.