ARTICLE | Clinical News

Merck halts Phase III trial of AD candidate verubecestat

February 16, 2018 1:05 PM UTC

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) stopped the double-blind, international Phase III APECS trial of verubecestat (MK-8931) to treat prodromal Alzheimer’s disease after an external DMC said it was unlikely the trial would establish a positive benefit-risk profile for the candidate. Merck spokesperson Ian McConnell told BioCentury the company plans to conduct a detailed analysis of the data and present them at a medical meeting.

The placebo-controlled trial’s primary endpoint evaluated the effect of once-daily 12 and 40 mg oral verubecestat on Clinical Dementia Rating Scale-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) score after 104 weeks. Last year, Merck halted the Phase II/III EPOCH trial of verubecestat to treat mild to moderate AD after an external DMC determined the study had "virtually no chance of finding a positive clinical effect” (see BioCentury, Feb. 16, 2017)...