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MERCK AND COMPANY (MRK)
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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 CEST
   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 -0.22% 62.37 Delayed Quote.8.36%
MERCK AND COMPANY -0.07% 59.09 Delayed Quote.5.08%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 42 112 M
EBIT 2018 13 641 M
Net income 2018 7 201 M
Debt 2018 15 704 M
Yield 2018 3,29%
P/E ratio 2018 22,72
P/E ratio 2019 15,25
EV / Sales 2018 4,15x
EV / Sales 2019 3,95x
Capitalization 159 B
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Merck and Company Technical Analysis Chart | MRK | US58933Y1055 | 4-Traders
Technical analysis trends MERCK AND COMPANY
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 69,1 $
Spread / Average Target 17%
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Managers
NameTitle
Kenneth C. Frazier Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Robert M. Davis CFO & Executive Vice President-Global Services
Thomas Henry Glocer Independent Director
Rochelle B. Lazarus Independent Director
Leslie A. Brun Lead Independent Director
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