Merck's cardiovascular drug improves cholesterol levels in patients during late-stage trial

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Patients taking an investigational treatment for cardiovascular disease showed big improvements in cholesterol levels, according to late-stage clinical trial results released Wednesday.

 

Merck announced results of its 18-month phase-3 trial of anacetrapib in 1,623 patients with coronary heart disease. The drug showed no difference in safety compared with placebo, and 16 patients experienced cardiovascular problems –– cardiovascular death, heart attack, unstable angina or stroke –– compared with 21 taking placebo. Data were presented Wednesday at the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

 

Most importantly, after 24 weeks of treatment among patients who had previously taken a statin, the drug decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol by 40% while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol by 138%.

 

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