Merck Halts Taranabant Program

Merck yesterday announced that they are abandoning the phase III development program of their CB-1 antagonist taranabant.

The stated reason is the unfavorable psychiatric side effect profile that includes anxiety and depression.

Despite this setback, Merck plans to continue pursuing other antiobesity drugs in their pipeline. This is in contrast to Pfizer, who announced earlier this week that they are stopping all early development work in obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Clearly, developing effective and safe antiobesity drugs continues to be a challenge.

Phoenix, Arizona