FDA Approves Letermovir for Treatment and Prevention of CMV

The FDA has approved letermovir for the treatment and prevention of cytomegalovirus.

Merck announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Prevymis (letermovir) tablets and intravenous (IV) injection for prophylaxis of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and disease in adult CMV-seropositive recipients (R+) of an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).

The FDA approval was based on data from a Phase 3 multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (n=565) in adult CMV R+ patients of an allogeneic HSCT who were randomized to Prevymis 480 mg once daily (adjusted to 240mg for concomitant drugs) or placebo. Patients were monitored up to Week 24 post-transplant for the incidence of clinically significant CMV infection, and then further monitored through Week 48 post-transplant.

The data showed significantly fewer patients treated with Prevymis vs. placebo (38% vs 61%) developed clinically significant CMV infection, stopped treatment or had missing data through Week 24 post-HSCT (difference –23.5, 95% CI: –2.5 to –14.6; <.0001). A significant benefit was seen with Prevymis vs placebo in time to clinically significant CMV infection through Week 24 post-HSCT (cumulative rate: 18.9% vs 44.3%; <.0001).

All-cause mortality was also lower in Prevymis-treated patients vs placebo at Week 24 post-transplant (12% vs17%). Bone marrow suppression occurrence was similar for both groups. In addition, the median time to engraftment was 19 days in the Prevymis treatment arm vs 18 in the placebo arm. 

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Prevymis, a non-nucleoside CMV inhibitor (3,4 dihydro-quinazoline), inhibits viral replication through targeting the viral terminase complex. Prevymis will be available as 240 mg and 480 mg strength tablets in 4 Dosepaks, each containing a 7-count blister card (28 tablets total) or as a carton containing 2 blister cards, each containing a 7-count blister card (14 tablets total). Prevymis injection will be available in 240 mg  (12 mL vial) and 480 mg (24 mL vial) strengths in single-dose vials. Both formulations are anticipated to launch in December. 


Merck receives FDA approval of PREVYMIS™ (letermovir) for prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and disease in adult allogeneic stem cell transplant patients (press release). Kenilworth, New Jersey: Merck. Published November 9, 2017. Accessed November 13, 2017.

This article originally appeared on MPR