Merck shelves study of cholesterol drug

Saying it had the wrong patient population, Merck has discontinued its ACHIEVE imaging study for its cholesterol drug MK-0524A. Its steering committee recommended a new imaging study that included a "more appropriate patient population." The ACHIEVE trial was intended to gauge the drug's impact on the thickness of artery walls.

Merck emphasized that the decision to discontinue the trial was not related to a recent Not Approvable letter from the FDA and that all other studies would proceed as planned. The FDA turned thumb's down on MK-0524A last April. The drug is a combination of the B vitamin niacin and the drug laropiprant.

- here's the release
- read the report from Hemscott