Odanacatib outperformed placebo in a Phase III trial for postmenopausal osteoporosis based on top-line results reported by Merck & Co. Inc., but the cathepsin K inhibitor's safety profile and data on fracture reductions likely will dictate if it can jump to front of the line for second-line use behind generic oral bisphosphonates.

The pharma plans to unveil detailed results from the study and submit global marketing applications in 1H13.