Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Places Cholesterol Drug on Hold  
8/9/2012 7:25:19 AM

Merck & Co. (MRK) said it has placed on hold its development of a combination cholesterol drug, citing "business reasons." The Whitehouse Station, N.J., drug maker no longer plans to file for U.S. regulatory approval of the drug, code-named MK-0524B, in 2014 as it had previously planned. The combination drug was meant to help raise levels of good cholesterol while also lowering levels of bad cholesterol and a related substance implicated in heart disease. Merck said in its quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it placed the development program on hold in July for business reasons. A spokeswoman said the decision was part of Merck's "ongoing prioritization" of its drug research pipeline.