In wake of safety scare, Merck scraps monthly PrEP plans for lead HIV drug — while marching ahead with revised clinical plans
Merck is throwing in the towel on its lead candidate for a long-acting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV after months of grappling with safety concerns.
The pharma giant — which first flagged a drop in immune cell counts in a trial last November and subsequently halted multiple trials involving islatravir — is scrapping the development of a once-monthly oral islatravir for PrEP. It will, however, move on with new studies testing the daily and weekly doses of the same drug to treat (rather than prevent) HIV.
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