This study did not meet the primary endpoint of progression free survival in the overall population. The hazard ratio (HR) for progression free survival (PFS) was 1.0 [95% CI 0.74 - 1.4].
Ongoing analysis of a pre-specified set of biomarkers mechanistically linked to ErbB3 signaling identified a potential subpopulation of patients benefiting from MM-121 treatment in combination with paclitaxel. When using a combination of two biomarkers, the hazard ratio for PFS was 0.37 [95% CI 0.2 - 0.8] in the 34% of patients who were biomarker positive. The hazard ratio for PFS in the biomarker negative population was 1.54 [95% CI 1.0 - 2.4].
An overall increase in all grades of gastrointestinal toxicities, including diarrhea (73.6% vs. 42.5%), vomiting (31.4% vs. 18.8%) and other mucosal toxicities such as rhinitis (7.1% vs. 1.3%), epistaxis (23.6% vs. 17.5%), stomatitis (22.1% vs. 10.0%) and mucosal inflammation (22.1% vs. 1.3%), were observed in the combination as compared to paclitaxel alone, the majority of which were mild to moderate in severity. An increase in the pulmonary embolism rate was observed with the combination of MM-121 and paclitaxel (5.0% vs. 1.2%). No enhancement of paclitaxel-related peripheral neuropathy was reported with the combination.
"This unique study design lays the groundwork for future translational studies in ovarian cancer. The rapid enrollment into this study was a testament to the commitment of patients and physicians to advance our knowledge and improve upon available therapies in advanced ovarian cancers," said Dr.
"Research at Merrimack and elsewhere has shown that ligand-driven signaling through ErbB3 is one way in which cancer cells become resistant to therapy," said
This study was designed to evaluate whether MM-121 in combination with paclitaxel is more effective than paclitaxel alone, based on progression free survival. Patients were randomized at a 2:1 ratio for MM-121 in combination with paclitaxel versus paclitaxel alone. The study was conducted in the United Stated and
MM-121, in partnership with Sanofi, is also being evaluated in second line ER/PR+ metastatic breast cancer, ER/PR+ neoadjuvant breast cancer, triple-negative neoadjuvant breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
MM-121 is a fully human monoclonal antibody that targets ErbB3, a cell surface receptor implicated in tumor growth and survival. By inhibiting ErbB3 signaling, MM-121 is designed to restore sensitivity, delay resistance and enhance the anti-tumor effect of a combination therapy partner. Sanofi and Merrimack entered into an exclusive, global license and collaboration agreement for MM-121 in 2009.
Merrimack is a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of cancer. Merrimack applies its systems biology-based approach to biomedical research throughout the research and development process. Merrimack currently has six oncology therapeutics in clinical development.
To the extent that statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts, they are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements include any statements about Merrimack's strategy, future operations, future financial position and future expectations and plans and prospects for Merrimack, and any other statements containing the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "target," "potential," "will," "would," "could," "should," "continue," and similar expressions. In this press release, Merrimack's forward-looking statements include statements about the potential effectiveness of MM-121 in combination with paclitaxel in
certain patient populations or subpopulations, its ability to develop a predictive diagnostic and its ability to translate clinical data into future clinical success. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause Merrimack's clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the initiation of future clinical trials, availability of data from ongoing clinical trials, expectations for regulatory approvals and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of Merrimack's drug candidates or companion diagnostics. Merrimack undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements
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