Why Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Is Getting Crushed

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Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MACK) shares were absolutely crushed on Monday after the firm gave an update from its midstage pancreatic cancer study. Specifically, the top-line results come from the CARRIE study, a randomized Phase 2 trial evaluating the addition of MM-141 (istiratumab) to standard-of-care treatment in patients with previously untreated metastatic pancreatic cancer.

The study did not meet its primary or secondary efficacy endpoints in patients who received MM-141 in combination with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine, compared to nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine alone.

Based on these results, Merrimack will not devote additional resources to the development of MM-141.

While these results are disappointing, management noted that it is looking forward and its focus remains on the continued development of its pipeline, including two clinical programs, MM-121 and MM-310.

Sergio Santillana, M.D., MSc., chief medical officer of Merrimack, commented:

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the Unites States and a very difficult cancer to treat. Although we were unsuccessful in our effort to improve the standard of care for these patients, we want to express our gratitude to our investigators and our team, and, of course, to the patients and their families for their support and participation in the CARRIE study.

Shares of Merrimack were last seen down about 34% at $5.99, with a consensus analyst price target of $13.00 and a 52-week range of $7.37 to $15.40.