Merck halts leukemia trials after adverse event

Vertex says that Merck suspended two clinical trials of the leukemia drug MK-0457 after one of the patients in the study developed a heart condition--QTc prolongation--caused by a disruption in the organ's electrical system. Researchers called for a full review of the data available on the drug, which is in Phase II as the lead Aurora kinase inhibitor included in a development pact between the two companies. The drug is also in an early-stage combination trial with dasatinib. Another Aurora kinase inhibitor included in the collaboration, MK-6592, has been dumped after it failed to deliver on its pharmacokinetic goals in Phase I.

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