Schering-Plough Corp. has been cautious in developing drugs to raise "good" HDL cholesterol levels, even as other cholesterol treatments such as Vytorin, developed by the company with Merck & Co., have been deemed the world's top-selling prescription drugs. "If there's a way we can probe the area and prove to ourselves that it's a safe approach, then we will go after it," CEO Fred Hassan said, noting the problems encountered by Pfizer in testing its CETP inhibitor torcetrapib.

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