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Merck & Co

Merck discontinues one of its hepatitis C virus drug development programs

This decision was made based on a review of available Phase 2 efficacy data and in consideration of the evolving marketplace and the growing number of treatment options available for patients with chronic HCV infection

HCV - hepatitis C
Merck will continue to study ZEPATIER to understand more about its role in treating chronic hepatitis C infection

Drugs giant Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) is to discontinue work on treatments it was developing for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

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.

Quick facts: Merck & Co

Price: $85.06

Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $217.79 billion
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