Merck & Co's Gefapixant Cuts Chronic Cough in Phase III
But Concerns Over Taste Side Effects
New data puts Merck & Co's P2X3 receptor antagonist ahead of the field but Bellus Health's rival in the class may benefit from issues over taste alteration with gefapixant.
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Respivant will be Roivant's 13th "vant," focused on developing what was Patara Pharma's mast cell stimulator for chronic cough in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Former Patara CEO Bill Gerhart will lead the firm.
A candidate for chronic cough is one of the assets Merck & Co. will get by buying P2X3 inhibitor specialist Afferent Pharmaceuticals Inc, a US-based biotech focusing on chronic pain therapies caused when certain nerves become hypersensitive.
With the biotech sector awash with public and private capital, companies can carry on longer without needing to link up with a bigger player. Big pharma C-suite leaders have been discussing how their firms sweeten potential deals at BIO Digital.