Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) recently advanced its oncology candidate MM-111 to a phase II
development. The company started enrolling patients in the phase
II study of MM-111. MM-111 is a bispecific antibody being
developed for the treatment of advanced gastric, esophageal and
gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancers.
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The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy candidate in two
different groups of patients who have overexpressed HER2 receptor
with limited chemotherapeutic and other therapeutic treatments.
Merrimack also has MM-398 in its pipeline, which is currently in
a phase III development for the second-line treatment of
pancreatic cancer patients. Their disease has progressed after
Eli Lilly and Company's
) Gemzar (gemcitabine).
MM-398 was granted orphan drug designation by the European
Medicines Agency (EMA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in
2011, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. MM-398 is also
being evaluated in other cancer indications.
Merrimack also has a license and collaboration agreement with
) for developing another oncology candidate MM-121. MM-121 is
being evaluated for multiple cancer indications. In May 2013,
Merrimack completed the patient enrollment in a phase II study on
MM-121 for the breast cancer indication.
Other early-stage pipeline candidates at Merrimack include
MM-302, MM-151, MM-141. MM-302 is being developed for the
treatment of breast cancer, while MM-151 and MM-141 are being
developed for the treatment of solid tumors.
We note that Merrimack was recently in the news regarding its
common stock and convertible senior notes offering. The company
intends to use net proceeds from this offering to advance its
Merrimack currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). At present,
in the biopharma space, companies like
) look well positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).