Mer­ck hits the brakes on de­vel­op­ment pro­gram as safe­ty fears trig­ger alarm

In a sur­prise set­back, Mer­ck has slammed the brakes on the de­vel­op­ment of an ex­per­i­men­tal HIV drug — in­clud­ing a Phase II tri­al — af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tors flagged a drop in im­mune cell counts that an ex­ter­nal com­mit­tee de­ter­mined was re­lat­ed to treat­ment.

The Phase II study that first sound­ed the alarm, dubbed IMAG­INE-DR, was test­ing the once-week­ly com­bi­na­tion of MK-8507 (a non-nu­cle­o­side re­verse tran­scrip­tase in­hibitor) and is­la­travir, or ISL, a nu­cle­o­side re­verse tran­scrip­tase translo­ca­tion in­hibitor.

Endpoints News

Unlock this article instantly by becoming a free subscriber.

You’ll get access to free articles each month, plus you can customize what newsletters get delivered to your inbox each week, including breaking news.