Merrimack’s breast cancer trial stutters to halt

pharmafile | December 22, 2016 | News story | Business Services, Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, merrimack 

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals announced that it had decided to stop a Phase 2 study of MM-302, a HER2 antibody-targeted liposomal doxorubicin, in positive metastatic breast cancer patients. The decision was reached after a recent independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommendation and futility analysis.

The board reached the verdict that continuing treatment would be unlikely to show a benefit in comparison to other treatments. The results actually found that both treatment and control arms were found to have shorter than expected median progression-free survival.

“Late line HER2-positive breast cancer is very difficult to treat, especially in this new and previously unstudied group of patients who appear to experience rapid cancer progression following treatment with trastuzumab, pertuzumab and ado-trastuzumab emtansine,” said Istvan Molnar, vice president of Clinical Development at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. “While we are disappointed with this outcome, we would like to thank the study Steering Committee, the investigators and, most importantly, the patients who participated in the HERMIONE trial. We will report our learnings from this study at a later date.”

Merrimack has experienced a tough year to date, with slow sales growth on key drug, Onivyde, that has led to it cutting away 22% of its total staff numbers.

Ben Hargreaves

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