Merck Stops Phase 3 Trial of Verubecestat in Early Alzheimer’s Patients Amid Concerns Over Benefit

Merck Stops Phase 3 Trial of Verubecestat in Early Alzheimer’s Patients Amid Concerns Over Benefit
In another blow to hopes for an effective Alzheimer's treatment, Merck announced that it is stopping its Phase 3 clinical study testing verubecestat (MK-8931) in patients with early stage disease. No specific reason was given, but lack of effectiveness in data compiled to date is a likely cause. The decision follows a cease-trial recommendation by an external Data Monitoring Committee, after a recent interim safety analysis concluded the APECS study (NCT01953601) was unlikely to show positive treatment benefit compared to the risk could be established by continuing.  “We are disappointed with this outcome, especially given the lack of treatment options for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s,” Roger M. Perlmutter, MD, president at Merck Research Laboratories, said in a press release. “We are grateful to the patients and caregivers who participated in this study, and despite this outcome, Merck remains committed to developing novel therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.” At roughly the same time, Biogen disclosed that it will recruit 510 more patients to its two Phase 3 studies —  EMERGE (NCT02484547) and  ENGAGE (NCT02477800) — on aducanumab (BIIB037), a potential treatment t
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.