Merck’s CV Pipeline: A Shrinking But Strident Commitment
Merck insists it is committed to its cardiovascular franchise, but the company has had to halt the development of several CV assets and has been plagued by poor trial results for others.
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Despite the high unmet medical need in the cardiovascular and metabolic indications, companies are increasingly reluctant to make deals in the sector. But unique therapeutic approaches to diseases could bring new life.
The Big Pharma has had plenty of problems with its pipeline in recent years but has taken steps to move the needle back in the right direction. For some analysts and investors that progress is not coming rapidly enough.
Large outcomes study of Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) is allowed to carry on, reassuring investors that significant safety problems are unlikely to emerge. The development coincides with release of full results from the outcomes trial HPS2-THRIVE, in which Merck’s niacin-containing Tredaptive proved unsafe as well as ineffective.