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.


About Mark Fortner

I write software for scientists doing drug discovery and cancer research. I'm interested in Design Thinking, Agile Software Development, Web Components, Java, Javascript, Groovy, Grails, MongoDB, Firebase, microservices, the Semantic Web Drug Discovery and Cancer Biology.
This entry was posted in Drug Development, pancreatic cancer and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s