Merck & Co. and H. Lundbeck are suspending Phase III trials of their insomnia drug. The companies report that data from recently completed clinical studies suggests that the overall clinical profile for gaboxadol in insomnia does not support further development.
Phase II trials of the drug were marked by side effects, such as tachycardia, headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
In morning trading, while Merck’s stock price decreased by less than 1%, Lundbeck’s value took a beating. The company’s shares slid over 16% to Kr. 26.50, or $4.75, from it closing price of Kr. 159.50, or $28.59.
"The termination of our joint insomnia development program with Lundbeck is clearly disappointing," remarks Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., president of Merck Research Laboratories. Merck asserts that they will continue research in this area and are open to collaborating with Lundbeck.