Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) announced today that clinical trials of its blood clot drug Vorapaxar will have to be altered.
Vorapaxar was once thought to be a potential multibillion-dollar blockbuster, and was a huge component of Merck’s merger with Schering-Plough Corp. But a Data and Safety Monitoring board found it inappropriate for stroke victims, a huge market component for any drug aimed at preventing blood clots, and as a result Merck will halt testing on patients who have suffered a stroke.
This is not specifically related to PolyMedix's heptagonist drug currently in trials. That drug restores coagulation after the administration of heperin, a powerful anticoagulent used to stop unwanted clotting during surgeries.
Vorapaxar, as I understand it, was intended to prevent or disable big clots associated withstrokes. The success or failure of Vorapaxar has no bearing on the PolyMedix heptagonist.