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Merck cites positive study results on allergy drug

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 2:17pm
The Associated Press

Merck & Co. said Tuesday new data from a late-stage study showed its allergy treatment candidate met key effectiveness goals when compared with placebo.

The company said patients treated with its sublingual grass, or Phleum Pratense, allergy immunotherapy tablet showed a 26 percent greater improvement in allergy symptoms than patients on placebo. The late-stage study, which involved 345 patients aged between 5 and 17 years, focused on allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, or runny nose and itchy, watery eyes due to allergies.

The product is already approved in the European Union for children and adults with grass pollen allergy and is marketed under the name Grazax by ALK-Abello, which discovered and developed the drug.

The data was presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Shares of Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., rose 12 cents to close at $37.39.

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