Publications by authors named "J Hartzel"

40 Publications

Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of V114, a 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, followed by sequential PPSV23 vaccination in healthy adults aged ≥50 years: A randomized phase III trial (PNEU-PATH).

Vaccine 2021 Sep 3. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae causes pneumococcal disease, and older adults are at an increased risk. Sequential vaccination of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) followed by 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is recommended for broad protection against pneumococcal disease in some countries.

Methods: This phase III trial evaluated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of sequential administration of either V114 (a 15-valent PCV containing serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, 22F, 23F, and 33F) or PCV13, followed 12 months later by PPSV23, in healthy adults aged ≥50 years (NCT03480763). A total of 652 participants were randomized 1:1 to receive either V114 or PCV13, followed by PPSV23.

Results: The most common solicited adverse events (AEs) following PCV vaccination included injection-site pain and fatigue. Higher proportions of participants with these events were observed in the V114 group following PCV; however, these differences were not clinically significant. Following PPSV23 vaccination, the most common solicited AEs were injection-site pain and injection-site swelling; the proportions of participants with these events were comparable between both groups. Incidence of serious AEs was low in both groups following PCV and PPSV23, and none were related to study vaccines. No deaths occurred during the study. Serum opsonophagocytic activity geometric mean titers and immunoglobulin G geometric mean concentrations were comparable between both groups for all 15 serotypes in V114 following PPSV23. Immune responses elicited by V114 persisted for at least 12 months. Immune responses at 30 days and 12 months post-vaccination with PCV were comparable between both groups for the 13 shared serotypes and higher in the V114 group for the V114-unique serotypes (22F and 33F).

Conclusion: Administration of V114 followed by PPSV23 was well tolerated and induced comparable antibody levels to PCV13 followed by PPSV23 in healthy adults aged ≥50 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.08.038DOI Listing
September 2021

Sequential administration of Prevnar 13™ and PNEUMOVAX™ 23 in healthy participants 50 years of age and older.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2021 May 21:1-13. Epub 2021 May 21.

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.

In most countries worldwide, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have been included in the infant immunization program, resulting in a significant reduction in the burden of pneumococcal disease in children and adults. Shifting serotype distribution due to the indirect effect of infant vaccination with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) may continue to increase the gap between 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) and PCV13 serotype coverage for older adults in the coming years. This clinical study (V110-029; NCT02225587) evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of sequential administration of PCV13 followed approximately 8 weeks later, or approximately 26 weeks later, by PPSV23 in healthy adults ≥50 years of age. Both dosing intervals were generally well tolerated as measured by the nature, frequency, and intensity of reported adverse events (AEs) in both vaccination groups. Serotype-specific opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) geometric mean titers (GMTs) measured 30 days following receipt of PPSV23 in either group and at Week 30 were generally comparable between the 2 groups for 6 serotypes unique to PPSV23 and 12 serotypes shared between PCV13 and PPSV23, regardless of the interval between receipt of PCV13 and PPSV23. In addition, administration of PPSV23 given either 8 weeks or 26 weeks following PCV13 did not negatively impact immune responses induced by PCV13. Furthermore, administration of PPSV23 given either 8 weeks or 26 weeks after PCV13 elicited serotype-specific OPA GMTs to serotypes unique to PPSV23, which could provide earlier protection against pneumococcal disease caused by these serotypes in comparison with the current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended interval of at least 12 months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2021.1888621DOI Listing
May 2021

Clinical Endpoints for Evaluating Efficacy in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials.

Ann Intern Med 2021 02 22;174(2):221-228. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (T.R.F., E.R.B., M.C., L.C., P.B.G.).

Several vaccine candidates to protect against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have entered or will soon enter large-scale, phase 3, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials. To facilitate harmonized evaluation and comparison of the efficacy of these vaccines, a general set of clinical endpoints is proposed, along with considerations to guide the selection of the primary endpoints on the basis of clinical and statistical reasoning. The plausibility that vaccine protection against symptomatic COVID-19 could be accompanied by a shift toward more SARS-CoV-2 infections that are asymptomatic is highlighted, as well as the potential implications of such a shift.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M20-6169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596738PMC
February 2021

Using artificial intelligence tools in answering important clinical questions: The KEYNOTE-183 multiple myeloma experience.

Contemp Clin Trials 2020 12 18;99:106179. Epub 2020 Oct 18.

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc, Kenilworth, NJ, USA.

The phase III, randomized, active-controlled, multicenter, open-label KEYNOTE-183 study (NCT02576977) evaluating pomalidomide and low dose dexamethasone (standard-of-care [SOC]) with or without pembrolizumab in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (rrMM) was placed on full clinical hold by the US FDA on July 03, 2017 due to an imbalance in the number of deaths between arms. Clinically-led subgroup analyses are typically used to shed light on clinical findings. However, this approach is not always successful. We propose a systematic approach using the artificial intelligence tools to identifying risk factors and subgroups contributing to the overall death (prognostic) or to the excess death observed in the pembrolizumab plus SOC arm (predictive) of the KEYNOTE-183 study. In KEYNOTE-183, with a data cutoff date of June 02, 2017, we identified plasmacytoma as a prognostic factor, and ECOG performance status as a predictive factor of death. In addition, a qualitative interaction was observed between ECOG performance status and the treatment arm. The subsequent subgroup analysis based on ECOG performance status confirmed that more deaths were associated with pembrolizumab plus SOC versus SOC alone in patients with ECOG performance status 1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2020.106179DOI Listing
December 2020

A dose ranging study of 2 different formulations of 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15) in healthy infants.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2019 15;15(3):549-559. Epub 2019 Feb 15.

c Merck & Co., Inc ., Kenilworth , NJ , USA.

Background: Two new formulations of an investigational 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15-A and PCV15-B) were developed using 2 different protein-polysaccharide conjugation processes and evaluated in separate phase I/II studies (NCT02037984 [V114-004] and NCT02531373 [V114-005]) to assess optimal concentrations of pneumococcal polysaccharide (PnPs) and Aluminum Phosphate Adjuvant.

Methods: Various lots of PCV15-A and PCV15-B containing different concentrations of PnPs and/or adjuvant were compared to PCV13 in young adults and infants. Adults received single dose and infants received 4 doses at 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months of age. Adverse events (AEs) were collected after each dose. Serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations and opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) were measured prior and 30 days postvaccination in adults, at 1 month postdose 3 (PD3), pre-dose4, and postdose 4 (PD4) in infants.

Results: Safety profiles were comparable across vaccination groups. At PD3, serotype-specific IgG GMCs were generally lower for either PCV15 formulation than PCV13 for most shared serotypes. PCV15 consistently elicited higher antibody responses to the 2 serotypes unique to the vaccine (22F and 33F) and serotype 3 for which PCV13 was shown to be ineffective. Except for serotypes 6A and 6B, no dose-response effect was observed with increasing concentrations of PnPs and/or adjuvant.

Conclusion: PCV15 is safe and induces IgG and OPA responses to all 15 serotypes in the vaccine. No significant differences in antibody responses were observed with increases in PnPs and/or Aluminum Phosphate Adjuvant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2019.1568159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6988874PMC
February 2020
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