Merck abandons atherosclerosis trial

Arena Pharmaceuticals announced late Monday that its development partner, Merck, had stopped work on an experimental therapy for atherosclerosis after reviewing trial data generated by a mid-stage study. But Arena also noted that MK-0354, a niacin receptor, would be studied as a possible therapy for other indications and that the collaboration would continue. And researchers said that they would continue to investigate niacin receptors as a treatment for atherosclerosis. Arena did not divulge the discouraging trial data, but investors heard enough to send the stock down about six percent in overnight trading.

- read the AP report on the trial