Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today said that the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) of the IMPROVE-IT trial has completed its planned review of study data and recommended that the study continue. The study design calls for the collection of 5,250 clinical endpoints. Merck remains blinded to the actual results of this analysis and to other IMPROVE-IT safety and efficacy data. IMPROVE-IT is an 18,141 patient event-driven trial, and based on the targeted number of clinical endpoints and the rate at which events are being reported, the trial is projected to conclude in September 2014. The IMPROVE-IT Executive Committee and Merck will continue to monitor the progress of the study, and Merck will update the study timeline if appropriate. No additional interim analyses are planned. About Merck Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Forward-Looking Statement This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.