Merrimack’s New Pancreatic Cancer Drug

The intertubes have been abuzz lately with the news of Merrimack’s results from their Phase III trial of a new triplet therapy for pancreatic cancer.  The triplet combines older standard of care drugs like 5FU and leucovorin with their new compound MM-398.  The trial also compares MM-398 directly against 5FU and leucovorin. The drug, which they describe as nanoliposomal irinotecan, failed as a monotherapy, but seems to hold promise as a cocktail.

The latest results extended the lifespan of pancreatic cancer patients by an average of 2 months.  This may not seem like much, but Abraxane achieved similar results, and it should be noted that when a patient’s lifespan is often less than 6 months, any additional time is all to the good. However, lately the pharmaceutical industry has had push-back from regulatory agencies about the costs of new drugs with minimal efficacy over existing standards of care.  We’ll see how this plays out when Merrimack goes to the FDA later this year.

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About aspenbio

I write software for scientists. I'm interested in Java/Groovy/Grails, the Semantic Web and Cancer Biology.
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