Merck's Diarrhea Drug Could be First in 30 Years


A Merck (MRK)-licensed experimental drug to fight a bacteria blamed for increasing rates of deadly diarrhea in hospitals and nursing homes was found highly effective in a mid-stage study. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows the drug cut repeat infections by 72% in a trial of 200 patients infected by the diarrhea-causing germ in the U.S. and Canada. The drug reduces the risk of re-infection by the bug and its more virulent new strain more than in patients taking only antibiotics and the side effects were similar.