By Colin Kellaher


Merck & Co. on Tuesday reported positive results from a Phase 1/2 study of V116, the company's investigational 21-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal pneumonia in adults.

The Kenilworth, N.J., drugmaker said V116 met the primary immunogenicity objectives in vaccine-naive adults ages 18 to 49 (Phase 1) and in those 50 and older (Phase 2).

Merck also said V116 was well-tolerated, with an overall safety profile generally comparable to its Pneumovax 23 vaccine across both age groups.

The company said it plans to start a broad Phase 3 clinical program for V116 in vaccine-naive and vaccine-experienced adults next month.

Merck's V116, which includes eight serotypes not covered by currently approved vaccines, is designed to address strains of disease-causing pneumococcal bacteria that are most prevalent in adults and targets serotypes that account for 85% of all invasive pneumococcal disease in individuals ages 65 and up in the U.S. as of 2019.

Merck in April received U.S. Food and Drug Administration breakthrough-therapy designation, which aims to expedite the development and review of a drug for serious conditions when preliminary clinical evidence shows the drug may show substantial improvement over available therapies, for V116.


Write to Colin Kellaher at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 21, 2022 07:41 ET (11:41 GMT)

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