Merck remain committed after discontinuing Verubecestat study

14 February 2018 — Pharmaceutical company Merck have announced the discontinuation of Phase III studies into the effects of Verubecestat, a possible new drug treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, the collective term for a range of degenerative neurological conditions that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. There is no cure for dementia and has been no new treatment for the symptoms of dementia since 2002.

Dr Roger M. Perlmutter, President of Merck Research Laboratories, said, “We are disappointed with this outcome, especially given the lack of treatment options for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease . . . despite this outcome, Merck remains committed to developing novel therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Paola Barbarino, CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International, welcomed the continued dedication of Merck, known as MSD in Europe, to identify new and potential treatments for dementia.

More investment is needed to support research on dementia. The World Alzheimer Report 2016 outlines key recommendations for improving health systems for dementia globally.

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