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Merck ends study of Staph infection vaccine

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 4:45am
The Associated Press

Merck & Co. and Intercell AG said Wednesday they have ended a trial of a potential vaccine for Staph infections because the vaccine was not working, and because patients who took the vaccine were more likely to die.

The companies said a data monitoring committee unanimously recommended that they cancel the study of V710, which is designed to prevent Staphylococcus aureus infections.

Merck and Intercell said the data showed the vaccine was "unlikely to demonstrate a statistically significant clinical benefit." They also said patients who were treated with V710 were more likely to have multiple organ failure and die.

They said a review of the data showed the increased risk of death was not statistically significant.

Merck, of Whitehouse Station, N.J., and Intercell of Vienna suspended enrollment of patients in the trial in April. At the time, the companies said the drug met key goals, but that they would conduct more analysis of the risks and benefits of the vaccine.

Staph infections are often acquired in hospitals and they can be highly resistant to antibiotics, and lead to serious complications and death.

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