Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK) recently received approval to market its drug, for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, in the EU. The treatment is aimed at patients who have progressed gemcitabine-based therapy. The company noted that the approval makes this the first combination therapy to be approved for the treatment of metastatic adenocarcinoma, in the EU. It should be noted here that in the EU, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death.
The company recently announced the final results from the phase-3 NAPOLI-1 study. The results validate the use of ONIVYDE, in combination with fluorouracil and leucovorin. The company announced the results at the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology, through a poster presentation, along with a separate analysis of safety-over-time data.
The corresponding author investigator of the NAPOLI-1, Prof. Li-Tzong Chen M.D, claimed that the study provided a high level of clinical evidence, to support ONIVYDE as a meaningful treatment option for patients. Dr. Tzong stated that pancreatic cancer is a disease with poor prognosis. He went on to claim that ONIVYDE provides patients with the opportunity of extended overall survival, while still maintaining a baseline quality of life, making it a new standard of care for these patients.
In addition to making significant progress with its lead drug candidates, the company has also been working to restructure its organization. As such, the company is now increasing its R&D focus towards a specific set of biology derived oncology products. In addition to this, MACK would also improve its financial position. The company has already reduced its headcount by 22%, thereby eliminating $200 million in expected costs, for the next 2-years. This also includes the company’s president and CEO, Robert Mulroy. He would be replaced by Gary Crocker, as the interim CEO of MACK. Upon his appointment, Mr. Crocker stated that this would allow Merrimack to strategically align their pipeline of products, with their core capabilities.
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK) lost 2.64% of its share value, during the October 19 trading session, on a trade volume of 2.95 million, to close at $4.8 per share.