Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) to Take House Dust Mite Allergy Pill Into Phase 3  
10/11/2012 7:25:39 AM

Merck & Co is planning to take its house dust mite allergy immunotherapy tablet (HDM AIT) into Phase III clinical trials in North America next year. The pill - for which Merck gained US/Canadian rights through its merger with Schering-Plough in 2009, which itself licensed rights from Dutch allergy group ALK - is designed to protect against HDM-induced hay fever and asthma. HDM allergy is the most common allergy in the world, affecting around 90 million people in Europe, North America and Japan, and is a major cause of allergic asthma. Symptoms of HDM can limit daily activities, impair lung function, and lead to "significant use of symptomatic medication", according to ALK, which is overseeing the drug's development in Europe, where it is known as Mitizax.