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Merck halts work on pain drug

Merck & Co and Canadian-headquartered Neuromed Pharmaceuticals have stopped the development of an experimental pain drug that disappointed in clinical trials

US-based Merck & Co and Canadian-headquartered Neuromed Pharmaceuticals have stopped the development of an experimental pain drug that disappointed in clinical trials.

Neuromed said in press statement: "NMED-160 (MK-6721) did not demonstrate the ideal pharmaceutical characteristics considered necessary to advance the compound further in development."

The drug is an N-type calcium channel blocker which was designed to interfere with the transmission of pain signals. Neuromed added that itself and Merck are still trying to develop similar products.

Merck entered into the agreement with Neuromed in March 2006, which was initially worth USD 475m to the company. Since Merckís Vioxx was withdrawn from the world market, Merck has been trying to find painkillers to fill its pipeline gap for this indication.

9th August 2007

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