Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) has a license and collaboration agreement with
) for the development of its oncology candidate, MM-121.
Merrimack announced results from two phase II studies
evaluating MM-121 for the treatment of women with ER/PR+, HER2
negative breast cancer earlier in the week.
In the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
study, MM-121 was evaluated in combination with Aromasin in women
suffering from metastatic breast cancer who had failed prior
endocrine therapy. The study failed to meet the primary endpoint.
However, the estimated hazard ratio (HR) for progression free
survival (PFS) in the overall study population trended in favor
of the MM-121 arm. Overall survival data (yet immature) is also
in favor of the MM-121 arm.
The other phase II study was conducted in ER/PR+ breast cancer
patients in the neoadjuvant setting in combination with Taxol.
This study, which did not have a formal specified quantitative
endpoint, compared the pathologic complete response (pCR) rate in
patients treated with MM-121 in combination with Taxol followed
by Doxil and Cytoxan (10.8%), with the pCR rate of patients
receiving Taxol alone followed by Doxil and Cytoxan (3.3%).
To strengthen its oncology portfolio, Merrimack entered into
an agreement with
). As per the agreement, Merrimack will use its proprietary
nanoliposomal technology platform to develop and manufacture
various pharmaceutical products while Actavis will market the
Merrimack is eligible to receive payments up to $15.5 million
under the deal, including an upfront payment of $2 million and
the remaining as near-term development, regulatory and commercial
milestone payments related to the first product to come out of
the collaboration. For any product emanating from this
collaboration, Merrimack will gain a double-digit share of
profits on its future global sales.
Merrimack carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
) is a better-ranked stock carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
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