Merck Heart Drug Shocks by Succeeding Where Rivals Failed

Jun 27, 2017

Merck has found that its experimental cholesterol drug, anacetrapib, has met the goal of a 4-year, 30,000-patient trial in a CETP inhibitor treatment that has a history of failure. The company still has not made a decision on if it will seek approval but has plans to review the trial data with external experts.

Merck's trial found that all of its high-risk heart patients already on cholesterol-lowering statins showed a statistically significant reduction in the risk of heart attacks, heart-related death and need for artery-clearing procedures.

On Aug. 29, the details of the study will be released at the annual European Society of Cardiology meeting.

Pfizer's torcetrapib was one of pharma's most expensive failures when it had to end its $800 million Phase III program over death and safety issues. CETP inhibitors from Roche and Eli Lilly also failed due to lack of efficacy.

Read the Reuters report