Friday, June 09, 2006

HDL Cholesterol News

Merck & Co., Inc. is conducting a new study to see if an experimental drug that boosts HDL cholesterol can prevent heart attacks and strokes, possibly strengthening its position in the $25 billion cholesterol industry even as a key blockbuster teeters on the brink of patent expiration.
In the late-stage study, the experimental drug MK-0524A will be combined with niacin, a vitamin also known as B-3. Oxford University is coordinating the $78 million study and plans to recruit 20,000 patients from the United Kingdom, China and Scandinavia. "This is an important cardiovascular outcome study," said Merck spokeswoman Janet Skidmore. "It's going to determine whether this compound (MK-0524A) could prevent heart attacks and strokes."
The MK-0524A-niacin combination will be tested to see how much it increases high-density lipoprotein, known as HDL or good cholesterol because it seems to prevent heart attacks.


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