Merck & Co. interrupts Alzheimer’s study for lack of efficacy

Merck & Co. announced yesterday after stock markets (Wall Street) closed that it has interrupted the EPOCH study evaluating verubecestat, a treatment for early Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed verubecestat – a BACE inhibitor – has virtually shown no benefit on a pool of 2,000 patients with Alzheimer’s. The research of an Alzheimer’s cure by the Big Pharma keeps proving fruitless: to date, indeed, no available treatment has shown effectiveness in slowing the progression of the disease – they only relieve some symptoms. Eli Lilly, the main competitor to Merck, some months ago reported negative results from a treatment (solanezumab) on which great expectations had been placed. Merck, however, stated it will continue its other ongoing trial, APECS, evaluating verubecestat in people with prodromal Alzheimer’s disease. Merck & Co’s shares lost over 2% in after-hour tradings soon after the announcement. (Source Merck & Co.)