Merck abandons potential Vioxx successor

Neuromed and Merck are abandoning an experimental, mid-stage pain drug after gathering some disappointing data on the compound. NMED-160 (AKA MK-6721) "does not demonstrate the ideal pharmaceutical characteristics considered necessary to advance the compound further in development,'' said Neuromed in a release. The drug is an N-type calcium channel blocker, which is designed to interfere with pain signals. 

The two companies inked a $475 million pain development pact in the spring of 2006 as Merck was reeling from the loss of Vioxx and officials for the companies say they'll continue to explore other pain therapies together.

- see the release on the drug

ALSO: It wasn't all bad news for Merck today: A Wall Street investment bank upgraded the company's stock from "neutral" to "outperform." FiercePharma

Related Articles:
Merck inks $475M deal with Neuromed. Report
Neuromed raises $25M. Report
Neuromed lands pain therapy in $30M deal. Report

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