Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK) announced the initiation of a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial of MM-141, a bispecific antibody targeting IGF-1R and ErbB3, in combination with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine, versus nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine alone in patients with newly-diagnosed metastatic pancreatic cancer who have high serum levels of free IGF-1.

“Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is projected to rise to the second leading cause by 2020. Merrimack is committed to advancing the standard of care for patients with inoperable, metastatic pancreatic cancer. We are taking steps to move our therapeutics forward based on matching them to the biology of individual tumors,” said Chrystal Louis, M.D., Medical Director of MM-141 at Merrimack. “Data from our Phase 1 trial supports further clinical evaluation of MM-141 in patients with high serum levels of free IGF-1. Patients with this biomarker profile may have the greatest potential of benefit from the use of MM-141 combined with standard chemotherapies, and we look forward to further validating this in our Phase 2 trial.”

As part of this trial, 146 front-line metastatic pancreatic cancer patients with high serum levels of free IGF-1 will be randomized (1:1) to receive either MM-141 plus nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine or nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine alone. Eligible patients for the trial must have received no prior radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy or investigational therapy for the treatment of metastatic disease. The primary endpoint of the trial is progression free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints include overall survival, objective response rate, safety and tolerability. Merrimack plans to conduct the trial at sites in the United States, Canada and Europe. Initial trial sites located at St. Jude Heritage in Fullerton, California and Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinoisare now open to screen patients in the United States.  For more information, please visit (Identifier: NCT02399137). (Original Source)

Shares of Merrimack closed yesterday at $12.12 . MACK has a 1-year high of $13.84 and a 1-year low of $5.53. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $12.24 and its 200-day moving average is $10.60.

On the ratings front, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Daniel Brims reiterated a Buy rating on MACK, with a price target of $16, In a report issued on February 26. The current price target implies an upside of 32.0% from current levels.

According to, Brims has a total average return of -3.5%, a 36.7% success rate, and is ranked #3126 out of 3589 analysts.

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc is engaged in discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize medicines consisting of novel therapeutics paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of cancer.