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Merck Stops Work on Parkinson's Compound

German drug maker Merck KGaA said Friday it is dropping development of a new Parkinson's disease treatment after Phase III clinical trials failed to confirm the results of previous studies.

Darmstadt-based Merck said it decided "not to file for approval and not to pursue further development of the compound," known as Sarizotan, which was intended to treat advanced Parkinson's disease patients suffering from dyskinesia - or involuntary, jerky movements.

The trials, the company said in a brief statement, "did not confirm Phase II results or results from preclinical studies."

The setback comes after Merck lost out to Bayer AG in the race to acquire a third German drug maker, Schering AG.

Friday's news pushed down Merck's shares. In morning trading on the Frankfurt exchange, they dropped 5.2 percent to $88.78.

Source Date: Jun 23 2006
Source Publication: The Associated Press