After reviewing Phase 2 efficacy data said the program would be discontinued on the investigational combination regimens MK-3682B and MK-3682C.
Merck has another HCV treatment, ZEPATIER, and its existence also had a bearing on the decision.
“Remarkable progress has been made in the fight against hepatitis C infection, and Merck is enormously proud of the role we have had in that fight over the past 30 years,” said Dr Eliav Barr, senior vice president of global clinical development, infectious diseases and vaccines at Merck Research Laboratories.
“We will continue to study ZEPATIER to understand even more about its role in treating chronic hepatitis C infection and will continue to work with others to help bring ZEPATIER to appropriate patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 or 4 infection, the genotypes which make up the majority of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection,” he added.
Shares in Merck were 51 cents lower at US$63.78. In afternoon trade in New York.