Judge refuses to dismiss Schering shareholder suit

Will former Schering-Plough management end up on the witness stand, talking about the controversial Enhance trial? A shareholder suit could force them there--and a federal judge has refused the defendants' request to dismiss the case.

As Pharmalot reports, the suit accuses former Schering chief Fred Hassan (photo), plus board members and other executives, of mishandling the data from Enhance, which compared the Merck/Schering-Plough combination cholesterol drug Vytorin with Zocor, one of Vytorin's constituent parts. The trial showed that Zocor was just as good as Vytorin at keeping arteries clear of plaque. And when the trial results were delayed, questions were raised about whether the company was being straight-up with the data.

Well, the Schering executives--as well as Schering, the company, and its Vytorin partner (and now owner) Merck--have maintained all along that they didn't know anything about the Enhance results beforehand. But those Schering shareholders don't buy it. And now, it looks as if the investors are closer to getting their day in court. We'll keep you posted.

- see the Pharmalot piece