March 12 Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co Inc
said on Tuesday that an independent monitoring board had
allowed it to continue with a huge trial assessing the safety
and effectiveness of its blockbuster Vytorin cholesterol
The study, called IMPROVE-IT, will now continue to its
conclusion in September 2014, the drugmaker said. The panel's
decision suggests that no safety concerns have arisen for
Some analysts had hoped the independent panel, which has the
right to peek at data from the ongoing study, would determine
the trial had already proven Vytorin's effectiveness, and would
order that the trial be halted.
Merck shares rose to $44.25 in pre-market trading from a
close of $43.65.