Merck drug benefits kids with rare aging disorder

Merck's ($MRK) experimental lonafarnib failed to impress as an experimental treatment for cancer, yet a study of the drug in patients with an extremely rare and deadly condition called progeria has yielded some promising data. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the drug provided benefits for all the participants in the 28-person study conducted at Boston Children's Hospital, yet researchers are investigating why some patients responded differently than others. The drug showed signs that it could also combat a common symptom of aging in people without the rare disease. Whitehouse Station, NJ-based drug giant Merck has no plans to develop the drug outside of progeria, a spokeswoman told the WSJ. The company is providing the supplies of the compound for the progeria studies and isn't objecting to a patient group's desire to seek FDA approval of lonafarnib for this use. Article

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