Roche pulls plug on hoped-for cholesterol drug

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GENEVA (AP) — Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG has ended development of a cholesterol drug that it had hoped could achieve blockbuster status.

Basel-based Roche announced Monday it is pulling the plug on dalcetrapib, which was in late-stage trials to study if it could increase so-called "good" cholesterol.

The company said in a statement the decision was based on the recommendation of its independent data and safety monitoring board.

Dr. Hal Barron, chief medical officer and head of global product development, said the drug maker was "disappointed by the fact that this drug didn't provide benefit to the patients in our study."

Pfizer's ended its effort to develop a related compound, torcetrapib, in 2008 after it was linked to heart problems in late-stage human testing.

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