Merck scraps ex­per­i­men­tal choles­terol drug

The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH -

Merck has de­cided to aban­don ef­forts to mar­ket an ex­per­i­men­tal choles­terol medicine af­ter me­diocre test re­sults. Merck’s de­ci­sion Wed­nes­day to not seek reg­u­la­tory ap­proval af­ter years of test­ing marks the fourth time this type of once-promis­ing drug has been scrapped. Merck had con­tin­ued to study its drug, a so-called CETP in­hibitor called anace­trapib, long af­ter ri­vals had given up on sim­i­lar drugs. Merck raised hopes when it an­nounced in June that anace­trapib not only low­ered choles­terol, but also re­duced heart at­tacks, deaths and other heart dis­ease com­pli­ca­tions. But in Au­gust it dis­closed the pill only cut those risks 9 per cent. That would have lim­ited sales of the drug, if it had won reg­u­la­tory ap­proval, be­cause cheap, ge­netic statin drugs lower choles­terol well for most peo­ple.

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