Sanofi, Merrimack continue development of molecular target found in many cancers
- Sanofi has agreed that Merrimack will regain worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the monoclonal antibody MM-121.
- MM-121 blocks ErB3 (HER3) activation in patients with heregulin-positive tumors. Various types of cancers have this feature.
- Sanofi and Merrimack are partnering to conduct the Phase II clinical trial program. Sanofi will continue to fund the program for the next six months.
Heregrulin, the main ligand that binds to and activates the HER3 receptor, is implicated in certain types of ovarian cancer, breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Because HER3 is associated with a poor response to standard therapy, blocking its expression by adding MM-121 may render standard therapy more effective. That’s the goal. Robert Mulroy, CEO of Merrimack, believes that MM-121 has the potential to be a foundational therapy for use across multiple cancer types. Next step: Discuss registration paths with FDA.
- Pharmaceutical Business Review Merrimack Pharmaceuticals to regain worldwide rights to develop and commercialize MM-121