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Home Industry News MSD discontinues development of chronic pain drug

MSD discontinues development of chronic pain drug

14th August 2007

Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has discontinued its development efforts on a phase II compound for the treatment of chronic pain known as MK-6721 or NMED-160.

The company was previously developing the compound in partnership with Neuromed Pharmaceuticals, while both parties have decided that the drug has not exhibited the desired pharmaceutical characteristics needed for the compound to progress to the next stage in its clinical development.

However, both companies will continue to collaborate on the evaluation of alternative early-stage therapeutic drug candidates in this field.

Dr Darryle Schoepp, senior vice-president and head of neuroscience at MSD, said: “Merck and Neuromed are committed to the further research and development of oral N-type calcium channel blockers for pain.”

He added that Neuromed is a market leader in this type of drug, while MSD is content with the progress of its continuing partnership agreement.

N-type calcium channel blockers can control the entry of calcium into the neuron in order to affect pain signal transmission in the human body.

MSD entered into its agreement with Neuromed in March 2006, with the company paying Neuromed an initial licensing fee of $25 million (12.47 million pounds), with additional sums up to $202 million to be paid upon the successful development and launch of NMED-160.

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