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Merck granted drug trial go-ahead


A study into the effects of a heart attack and stroke drug has been given the green-light following a review by an independent safety monitoring board.

Pharmaceutical company Merck said research into its cholesterol-fighting Vytorin drug would go ahead after an IMPROVE-IT investigation finished its mid-term analysis of ongoing clinical trials, for which around 17,000 volunteers had been enrolled worldwide.

A statement on the Merck website read: “The interim efficacy analysis was conducted by the data and safety monitoring board after the trial had reached approximately 50% of the 5,250 heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events to be examined during the study.”

Vytorin, which Merck owns outright after acquiring its longtime partner Schering-Plough last year, is considered one of the most potent treatments available for reducing levels of LDL cholesterol.

The trials, for which 18,000 people will eventually be recruited, are scheduled to end in June 2013.

Copyright Press Association 2010


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