Merck’s investigational medicine for the treatment of acute heart failure, Rolofylline, has not met the primary or secondary efficacy endpoints during Phase III studies, the company has announced.

The company will not file applications for regulatory approval this year; however, it will continue to analyse the data with outside experts.

Merck Research Laboratories executive director of cardiovascular research Dan Bloomfield said that advances to help patients with acute heart failure had long been elusive.

“These results are disappointing because we had been hopeful that blocking the adenosine A1 receptor with rolofylline would prove to be a useful new approach for these patients,” said Bloomfield.

Rolofylline was acquired by Merck through NovaCardia, which Merck purchased in 2007.