The Only Thing Known About Merck’s Anacetrapib Candidate. . . Is That It’s Too Early To Know. . . Much Of Anything


Almost exactly three years ago, now, I said the outlook for this drug candidate seemed unclear.

That is still true.

Of course, one never really wants to see that a drug lingers in the patient’s body, beyond two years after (and in a small number of cases, four years after) the patient stops taking it. That said, the real question was, is — and remains — will it cut heart attack risks significantly?

And that question remains entirely unanswered tonight — and will remain so, for perhaps another 1,000 to 1,200 more nights. So we wait. But here is a bit of Matt Herper’s story, tonight. Do go read it all:

. . . .The problem is this: after you take it, anacetrapib appears to stick around for years, according to new results made available online on October 4 by the American Journal of Cardiology. In the new analysis of one of Merck’s studies of the drug, anacetrapib blood levels three months after patients stopped taking the drug were 40% of what they were when they took the pill daily. And for 30 patients who were followed for longer, the drug was still detectable in the blood as much as four years later. . . .

Here’s to hoping this turns out well, for the science teams at Whitehouse Station. Additional background — on the value of the program, in terms of Merck’s stock price — here.

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