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Merck Combination Cholesterol Drug Fails to Meet Study Goals; Firm Doesn't Plan to Seek U.S. Approval

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12/20/2012 | 03:17pm CET
   By Tess Stynes 

Merck & Co. (>> Merck & Co., Inc.) said its doesn't plan to seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a combination cholesterol treatment that aims to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events after the drug failed to meet primary goals in a large long-term study.

Shares were down 2.9% at $42.40 in premarket trading.

The pharmaceutical giant said it isn't recommending that health-care providers start new patients on the treatment--Tredaptive--an extended release combination of niacin and laropiprant. The company also plans to share the study results with health regulators in countries where it also is approved under the Tredaptive or Cordaptive brands.

"While we are disappointed in these results, we thank the investigators who have conducted the study and the patients who have participated in it," said Peter S. Kim, president, Merck Research Laboratories.

The study that compared extended-release niacin and laropiprant plus statin therapy versus statin therapy included 25,673 patients in Britain, Scandinavia and China considered at risk for cardiovascular issues that were followed for a median 3.9 years.

The study found that the combination drug along with statin therapy didn't significantly further reduce the risk of a combination of cardiovascular events such as nonfatal heart attacks, strokes or coronary-related deaths compared with just statin therapy. There also was an increase in nonfatal events in the group receiving Tredaptive.

Further analysis is under way and detailed study results are expected in the first quarter.

Write to Tess Stynes at [email protected]

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stocks mentioned in the article : Merck & Co., Inc.
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ABBOTT LABORATORIES -0.37% 62.42 Delayed Quote.9.37%
MERCK AND COMPANY 0.09% 54.69 Delayed Quote.-2.81%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 41 711 M
EBIT 2018 13 779 M
Net income 2018 8 873 M
Debt 2018 13 131 M
Yield 2018 3,54%
P/E ratio 2018 16,44
P/E ratio 2019 13,58
EV / Sales 2018 3,85x
EV / Sales 2019 3,67x
Capitalization 147 B
Duration : Period :
Merck and Company Technical Analysis Chart | MRK | US58933Y1055 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends MERCK AND COMPANY
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
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Average target price 66,5 $
Spread / Average Target 22%
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Kenneth C. Frazier Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Robert M. Davis CFO & Executive Vice President-Global Services
Clark Golestani Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
Roy D. Baynes Chief Medical Officer
Thomas Henry Glocer Independent Director
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