Feb 14 Merck & Co Inc said it would halt
a late-stage trial of its drug in patients with mild to moderate
Alzheimer's disease after an external panel pointed to a lack of
The company's shares were down 2.4 percent at $64.06 in
after-market trading on Tuesday.
Merck said the external data monitoring committee, which
assessed overall benefit or risk of verubecestat, determined
that there was "virtually no chance of finding a positive
Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease exhibit
detectable and worsening impairment of cognitive and functional
The company's announcement comes nearly three months after
Eli Lilly and Co said its Alzheimer's treatment failed
to slow declines in mental capacity of patients with even mild
Merck said that another late-stage study for the treatment
of people with prodromal Alzheimer's disease would continue and
results from the study are expected by February 2019.
Patients with prodromal Alzheimer's disease have objective
memory problems but relatively normal functioning in activities
of daily living.
(Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by