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Investigational Merck drug 'significantly' reduces cardiovascular death


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — A drug under development by Merck "significantly" reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death in patients, according to clinical trial results announced Tuesday.

Merck announced the release of data from the 26,449-patient "TRA-2P" study of vorapaxar, a drug designed to prevent clotting of the blood. The drug also showed a significant increase in bleeding, including within the skull, known as intracranial hemorrhage, though there was a lower risk of intracranial hemorrhage in patients without a history of stroke.

"In developing vorapaxar, Merck and our scientific collaborators set a very high bar — would the addition of vorapaxar to standard of care provide incremental benefit in preventing clots?" Merck Research Labs president Peter Kim said. "We are pleased that TRA-2P met its primary endpoint, and we look forward to discussing the results with the scientific community."

Results of the trial will be presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions next month.

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