Merck Statement on FDA Advisory Committee Meeting for ZINPLAVA™ (bezlotoxumab), an Investigational Agent for Prevention of Clostridium difficile Infection Recurrence


June 9, 2016 4:04 pm ET

KENILWORTH, N.J. – Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today issued the following statement after the conclusion of a meeting of the Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss ZINPLAVA™ (bezlotoxumab), an investigational agent for prevention of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection recurrence. The Advisory Committee agreed, with a vote of 10 to 5 with one abstention, that Merck has provided substantial evidence of the safety and effectiveness of bezlotoxumab for the prevention of C. difficile infection recurrence in patients aged 18 years and older. 

“We believe that ZINPLAVA has the potential to offer physicians an important new therapy for their patients to help prevent C. difficile infection recurrence,” said Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, associate vice president, infectious disease clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to continuing to work with the FDA as it completes its review of our Biologics License Application for ZINPLAVA.”

The FDA is not bound by the committee’s guidance, but takes its advice into consideration when reviewing investigational medicines. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date for the FDA’s review of ZINPLAVA is July 23, 2016.

ZINPLAVA is given in conjunction with standard of care antibiotics that are used in the treatment of C. difficile infection. It is not an antibiotic. 

About Merck

For 125 years, Merck has been a global health care 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 health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company 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 the company’s 2015 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 (



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