Merrimack Pharmaceuticals to Present Preclinical Data at the 24th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 31, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:MACK) announced today that preclinical data on two novel cancer compounds will be presented at the 24th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Dublin, Ireland November 6 – 9, 2012.

Two posters showing preclinical data will be presented on MM-121 (SAR256212), Merrimack's ErbB3 (HER3) inhibitor being developed in partnership with Sanofi, and one poster will be presented on MM-141, Merrimack's IGF signaling inhibitor.

"MM-121 and MM-141 are two programs that we believe hold a great deal of promise for cancer patients. Using Merrimack's Network Biology approach to pathway identification and drug development, these compounds have been designed to address specific tumor growth signaling mechanisms," said Ulrik B. Nielsen, Ph.D., a founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. "By targeting these signaling pathways, the hope is to target the underlying triggers of tumor growth and survival."

Therapy and Poster Overview:

  • MM-121 is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to ErbB3, a protein associated with the development of resistance to oncology treatments and with tumor growth in numerous cancers, including ovarian, breast and lung tumors. The two posters being presented are:

-- MM-121, an anti-ErbB3 antibody, inhibits PI3K/AKT signaling and viability in platinum-resistant ovarian cells and in primary ascites derived from chemo-resistant ovarian cancer patients. Presented by Merrimack (Abstract #: 141)

--Poster session: "Drug Resistance and Modifiers," Wednesday, November 7, 12:00 – 2:15 p.m. WET

-- MM-121 (SAR256212), an anti-ErbB3 monoclonal antibody, shows synergistic tumor growth inhibition in combination with a pan-PI3K inhibitor or a microtubule inhibitor through ErbB3 expression modulation. Presented by Sanofi (Abstract #: 325)

-- Poster Session: "Monoclonal Antibodies and Targeted Toxins/Nuclides," Thursday, November 8, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. WET

  • MM-141 is a PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling inhibitor that is designed to address the redundancies that occur in tumors where both IGF-1R and ErbB3 (HER3) are activated. The poster being presented is:

-- MM-141, a novel bispecific antibody co-targeting IGF-1R and ErbB3, inhibits PI3K/AKT/mTOR pro-survival signaling in preclinical cancer models (Abstract #: 316)

-- Poster Session: "Monoclonal Antibodies and Targeted Toxins/Nuclides," Thursday, November 8, 8:30– 10:30 a.m. WET

About Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of serious diseases, with an initial focus on cancer. Merrimack applies Network Biology, its proprietary systems biology-based approach to biomedical research, throughout the research and development process. Merrimack currently has five targeted therapeutic oncology candidates in clinical development.

Forward-Looking Statement

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Merrimack constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Merrimack anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Merrimack may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Merrimack specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

CONTACT: Kathleen Petrozzelli Gallagher, Merrimack, 617-441-1043, Liz Bryan, Spectrum, 202-955-6222, lbryan@spectrumscience.comSource:Merrimack Pharmaceuticals