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Pfizer stops clinical trials of heart drug

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 14 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1237
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, suddenly halted phase III clinical trials of torcetrapib on 2 December. Torcetrapib is a new agent that increases concentrations of “good” high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

    Only two days earlier, Pfizer executives had said that they hoped to ask the US Food and Drug Administration for approval next year, and the company issued a financial statement: “Company highlights torcetrapib-atorvastatin and cholesteryl ester transfer protein research as most important new development in cardiovascular medicine in years.”

    Pfizer said that “in the interests of patient safety” it was stopping the clinical trials of torcetrapib (called Illuminate) because the independent data safety monitoring board found more deaths and cardiovascular events …

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