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An experimental pill from Merck significantly reduced the frequency of chronic coughing compared to a placebo, achieving the main goal of twin, Phase 3 clinical trials, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Merck has described its chronic cough drug, gefapixant, as one of the most important medicines in its research pipeline. The positive results will also likely bolster the prospects of Bellus Health, a small Canadian drug maker developing a similar drug for chronic cough.

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