Merck says key data on Zetia cholesterol drug due in 2014

Wed Aug 8, 2012 9:56am EDT

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc said in a regulatory filing that it now expects data from a large heart safety study of its cholesterol drug Zetia to be available in 2014 instead of 2013.

The eagerly anticipated 18,000-patient trial called IMPROVE- IT was designed to demonstrate Zetia's ability to reduce heart attacks and strokes in heart patients after earlier studies and critics of the medicine called its efficacy and safety into question.

The so-called outcomes study is testing the effect of Zetia and Merck's older cholesterol drug Zocor, or simvastatin, against Zocor alone, and is designed to end once 5,250 clinical events, such as heart attacks, have been reported.

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