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Merrimack and Actavis Announce Nanotechnology Collaboration

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:MACK), a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of cancer, and Actavis plc, a global, integrated specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that the companies have entered into a collaboration agreement. Under the agreement, Merrimack will utilize its proprietary nanoliposomal technology platform to develop and manufacture various pharmaceutical products for Actavis to commercialize around the world.

"This opportunity further validates Merrimack's nanoliposomal technology platform, which we have used to develop MM-398 and MM-302, as well as other preclinical programs," stated Edward J. Stewart, Senior Vice President at Merrimack and President of Merrimack Healthcare Solutions. "Under this collaboration, we are able to advance the development of our commercial infrastructure and utilize our manufacturing capacity to generate upside revenue opportunities to help fund our core R&D programs. Actavis is a dynamic company with significant expertise marketing specialty products around the globe, and we think they will be a great partner."

Under the terms of the agreement, Merrimack is eligible to receive up to $15.5 million, including $2.0 million upfront and the remainder in committed near-term funding and development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments related to the first product to come out of the collaboration. In addition, Merrimack will receive a double-digit share of profits on future global sales of any commercialized products derived from the collaboration. Merrimack will be responsible for manufacturing bulk product at its Cambridge, Mass. nanoliposomal manufacturing facility.

"We are pleased to enter this agreement with Merrimack and take advantage of their expertise in nanoliposomal development and manufacturing capabilities," stated Sigurdur O. Olafsson, President of Actavis Pharma. "We are excited to be working with them and their technology, and believe that together we can help meet the needs of patients around the world."

Merrimack will host a conference call at 8:00 a.m., Eastern time, today to discuss this announcement. Investors and the general public are invited to listen to the call by dialing (877) 564-1301 (domestic) or (224) 357-2394 (international) five minutes prior to the start of the call and providing passcode 16791357.

About Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Merrimack is a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of cancer. Merrimack applies its systems biology-based approach to biomedical research throughout the research and development process. Merrimack currently has six oncology therapeutics in clinical development. For more information, please visit Merrimack's website at www.merrimackpharma.com.

About Actavis

Actavis plc (NYSE:ACT) is a global, integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and distributing generic, brand and biosimilar products. Actavis has global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and U.S. administrative headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey, USA.

Actavis Pharma markets generic, branded generic, legacy brands and Over-the-Counter (OTC) products in more than 60 countries. Actavis Specialty Brands is a global branded specialty pharmaceutical business focused principally in the Urology and Women's Health therapeutic categories, as well as Gastroenterology and Dermatology. Actavis Specialty Brands also has a portfolio of five biosimilar products in development in Women's Health and Oncology. Actavis Global Operations has more than 30 manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world, and includes Anda, Inc., a U.S. pharmaceutical product distributor.

For press release and other company information, visit Actavis' Web site at http://www.actavis.com.

Forward-looking statements

To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended.

Forward-looking statements include any statements about Merrimack's strategy, future operations, future financial position and future expectations and plans and prospects for Merrimack, and any other statements containing the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "target," "potential," "will," "would," "could," "should," "continue," "hope" and similar expressions. In this press release, Merrimack's forward-looking statements include statements about the ability to develop and manufacture products under the collaboration and the receipt of profit share, milestone and other payments under the agreement. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause Merrimack's clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the initiation of future clinical trials, availability of data from ongoing clinical trials, expectations for regulatory approvals, development progress of Merrimack's companion diagnostics and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of Merrimack's drug candidates or companion diagnostics. Merrimack undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Merrimack's views as of any date subsequent to the date hereof. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Merrimack's business in general, see the "Risk Factors" section of Merrimack's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 8, 2013 and other reports Merrimack files with the SEC.

Statements contained in this press release that refer to non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Actavis' current perspective of existing information as of the date of this release. It is important to note that Actavis' goals and expectations are not predictions of actual performance. Actual results may differ materially from Actavis' current expectations depending upon a number of factors, risks and uncertainties affecting Actavis' business. These factors include, among others; the difficulty of predicting the timing and outcome of the pending patent litigation; the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of product development efforts, including FDA and other regulatory agency approvals and actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the timing and success of product launches; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; the availability and pricing of third party sourced products and materials; successful compliance with FDA and other governmental regulations applicable to Actavis' and its third party manufacturers' facilities, products and/or businesses; changes in the laws and regulations; and such other risks and uncertainties detailed in Actavis' periodic public filings with the SEC, including but not limited to Actavis, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012 (as revised pursuant to Actavis, Inc.'s Current Report on Form 8-K dated as of June 17, 2013, which was filed with the SEC on June 18, 2013) and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the periods ended March 31, 2013, June 30, 2013 and September 30, 2013, and Actavis plc's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2013. Except as expressly required by law, Actavis disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Statements in this press release attributed to Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. or its representatives reflect the views of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. alone and should not be considered or construed as statements of Actavis plc.

CONTACT: Investor Contact: Geoffrey Grande, CFA Merrimack Pharmaceuticals 617-441-7602 ggrande@merrimackpharma.com Media Contact: Dana Robie Merrimack Pharmaceuticals 617-441-7408 drobie@merrimackpharma.comSource:Merrimack Pharmaceuticals