Merck discloses details of failed hepatitis C drug treatment

Merck & Co. provided an update on the potential efficacy of its experimental drug against hepatitis C, saying it was less effective and had a higher rate of serious side effects in a final analysis of the data.

In an update on its clinical development program on Friday, Merck said the pill had a 28% cure rate at 12 weeks. The company also said the label of the drug will change to “failure” for the indication.

The company said it was continuing to work on the “implementation of the revised label” in order to “appropriately characterize the clinical benefit” of the drug, which is still in a phase 3 trials.

The company released the new information on Sunday, the day before the scheduled expiry of a 30-day window for trade publication publication Pharmascience to report the final results of the analyses, as per a Wall Street Journal report.

The company said it would also look to expand the use of the drug to another hepatitis C co-infection group, chronic fatigue syndrome, the Journal reported.

In April, Merck pulled the plug on a trial involving its NV212 pill for use with liver damage because of safety concerns.

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