Merck scraps ex­per­i­men­tal choles­terol drug

Imperial Valley Press - - OPINION -

Merck has de­cided to aban­don ef­forts to market a closely watched 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 per­cent.

That would have lim­ited sales of the drug, if it had won reg­u­la­tory ap­proval, in part be­cause cheap, ge­netic statin drugs lower choles­terol well for most peo­ple.


show­cased the cards Wednesday. The decks are rem­i­nis­cent of those dis­trib­uted in 2003 to help U.S. troops iden­tify most wanted ter­ror­ists dur­ing the Iraqi War. Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion Direc­tor Stan Florence says sim­i­lar pro­grams in Florida, Colorado, Con­necti­cut and South Carolina have gar­nered in­for­ma­tion that helped solve about 40 homi­cides.

The cards are be­ing sold at six of the state’s more than two dozen pris­ons at $1.42 per pack and will even­tu­ally be the only play­ing cards avail­able at the fa­cil­i­ties. Ok­la­homa has ap­prox­i­mately 27,000 in­mates.


This image re­leased by the Euro­pean South­ern Ob­ser­va­tory on Aug. 10 shows near Earth as­teroid 2012 TC4, the dot at cen­ter. The as­teroid will pass within about 27,000 miles of Antarc­tica early to­day. OLIVIER HAINAUT

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