Merck’s Cautious Statement Suggests Slim Chances Of Anacetrapib Success

  • Merck reports positive results from late-stage study of its CETP inhibitor.
  • After the failure of three other companies in late-stage trials involving CETP inhibitors, results from Merck's late-stage study come as a surprise.
  • But the company is cautious about the drug's future.

By S. Mitra, MBA (ISB)

On Tuesday, Merck & Co. (MRK) surprised the scientific community and investors when it announced that its Phase 3 REVEAL study succeeded. The Phase 3 study is evaluating Merck’s investigational cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor anacetrapib. The results came as a surprise as previous attempts by three other companies with their CETP inhibitors had failed. The press release initially generated excitement among investors but Merck’s cautious statement suggests that the benefits of the CETP inhibitor may not merit a regulatory filing.

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