'Cancer Research' Has Published a Paper on the Activity of MM-121, an ErbB3 Inhibitor, in Ligand-dependent Tumors

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Cell Signaling Technology, Harvard Medical School and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals collaborated on the MM-121 research. Researchers looked at MM-121 in combination with Erbitux to study efficacy in preclinical cancer models resistant to other targeted therapies.

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“We found that MM-121 in combination with Erbitux, showed efficacy in a pre-clinical model of lung cancer resistant to Tarceva. Birgit Schoeberl, Ph.D., Vice President, Discovery, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

"Cancer Research" has published the paper “MM-121 Demonstrates in vivo Efficacy in Ligand-Dependent Tumors.” The paper describes how MM-121, an ErbB3 inhibitor, is effective as a single agent in preclinical models of cancer that are driven by known cancer-associated ligands within the cell. The researchers also found that combining MM-121 with an EGFR inhibitor showed efficacy in preclinical cancer models that are resistant to other targeted therapies. The work was completed through a collaboration between Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Cell Signaling Technology and Harvard Medical School. MM-121’s novel mechanism, designed using a systems biology approach, promises to benefit patients not effectively treated by current therapies targeting overexpressed or mutated oncogenes. Merrimack and sanofi-aventis are currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1/2 study of MM-121 combined with the EGFR inhibitor Tarceva® in patients with non small cell lung cancer.

About Merrimack
Merrimack is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel medicines for the treatment of cancer and inflammation. The Company is advancing a robust pipeline of engineered therapeutics paired with molecular diagnostics. Merrimack’s first two oncology candidates, MM-121, partnered with sanofi-aventis, and MM-111, are in Phase 1 clinical testing with multiple pre-clinical development and research stage programs in the pipeline. MM-121 and MM-111 are investigational drugs and have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or any international regulatory agency. The Company’s proprietary Network Biology discovery platform, developed with the help of leading scientists from MIT and Harvard, integrates the fields of engineering, biology, and computing to enable mechanism-based, model driven discovery and development of both therapeutics and diagnostics. Merrimack is a privately-held company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For additional information, please visit http://www.merrimackpharma.com.

Copies of the article can be found at http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/.

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