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scistats 319 posts  |  Last Activity: 1 hour 54 minutes ago Member since: Apr 5, 2009
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  • scistats scistats May 4, 2016 9:14 PM Flag

    This is the only competition that I am aware of.
    Its nice to be ahead of Novartis :)

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • scistats scistats May 4, 2016 8:05 PM Flag

    CEO Mulroy has Merrimack focused on hypoxic tumors and primed for a buyout to complement an established checkpoint inhibitor program. This would include almost all of big pharma. Merrimack is officially a sitting duck with product on the shelves.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • scistats scistats May 4, 2016 8:01 PM Flag

    See Novartis clinical trial: "Open-Label Study Evaluating the Safety and Tolerability of LJM716, BYL719 and Trastuzumab in Patients With Metastatic HER2+ Breast Cancer"

    LJM716 targets HER3 and initial PoC was achieved.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • scistats scistats May 4, 2016 7:52 PM Flag

    I want to stress CEO Mulroy's emphasis on hypoxic breast tumors. There is currently a trial underway focusing on metastatic breast cancer.

    Merrimack is trying to diagnose hypoxic breast tumors using Feraheme, an iron-oxide super-paramagnetic nanoparticle known to be taken up by macrophages abundant in the hypoxic tumor environment. Feraheme can be imaged because it has magnetic resonance imaging properties.

    These tumors represent 20% of the breast tumors out there. Merrimack thinks Onivyde will work well in these breast cancer tumor's hypoxic microenvironment.

    This will be Onivyde’s niche in breast cancer where checkpoint inhibitors do not work well. In addition, MM-121 will be used to take this one step further by blocking chemotherapy resistant HER3+ cancer cells.

    Also, "HER3 and downstream pathways are involved in colonization of brain metastases from breast cancer." -Da Silva et al. Breast Cancer Research, 2010

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Based on today's fireside chat at Deutsche Bank Securities 41st Annual Healthcare Conference, CEO Mulroy stressed that immune checkpoint Inhibitors cannot effectively target hypoxic tumors. Instead, he says Merrimakc's nanoliposomes do it best.

    CEO Mulroy suggests that check-point inhibitors are not as effective in the hypoxic tumor microenvironment because of physical/biochemical barriers and a lack of abundant antigen and immune cells. These factors stymie the likes of blockbuster immune checkpoint inhibitors KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)‎ and OPDIVO® (nivolumab).

    This belief is starkly at odds with the strategy of Aduro BioTech, Inc. who are currently using their defanged, tumor antigen producing Listeria mononcytogenes (CRS-207) in combination with GVAX + Bristol-Myers Squibb's OPDIVO® (nivolumab) (antiPD-1) for the very same hypoxic tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer tumors. Certainly CRS-207 is not a cure, but some patients have responded.

    CEO Mulroy, nevertheless, seems confident that Onivyde is definitely the way go away. He reinforced this belief by pointing out that instead of using Onivyde in combination with check inhibitors, MM-121 will be used in combination with Onivyde for HER3 receptor+ pancreatic cancer in the future in addition to other antibodies.

    In fact, he seems to believes that the entire Merrimack lineup of antibodies will be used to support Merrimack's Onivyde and antibody directed nanotherapeutics candidates for delivering traditional chemotherapy as well as novel molecules (or peptides, RNA, etc.) not yet disclosed. He stressed Merrimack is focused on hypoxic tumors where checkpoint inhibitors are at the bottom of the list for efficacy.

    CEO Mulroy Shuns checkpoint inhibitors and says Merrimack will continue to focus on liposomes targeting hypoxic tumors where checkpoint inhibitors fail. Merrimack's antibody program will enhance both Onivyde and the antibody directed nanotherapeutic (ADN) pipeline candidates.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • scistats scistats May 4, 2016 5:02 PM Flag

    CEO Mulroy at Deutsche Bank Securities 41st Annual Healthcare Conference
    May 4, 2016
    1:30 PM

    1. UCSF convection-enhanced delivery of Onivyde for glioma (brain or spine tumors). This delivery will take advantage of the stability Onivyde’s shell that provides a long half-life.

    2. Trial underway on metastatic breast cancer hypoxic tumor diagnostic + Onivyde. Merrimack is trying to find hypoxic breast tumors with high macrophage content. Feraheme® (AMAG Pharmaceuticals) is an iron-oxide super-paramagnetic nanoparticle known to be taken up by macrophages abundant in hypoxic tumors and for exhibiting magnetic resonance imaging properties. These tumors represent 20% of breast tumors for which Onivyde is predicted to work best. This will be Onivyde’s niche where checkpoint inhibitors may not work well.

    3. Also targeting Onivyde for liposarcoma (LPS) another hypoxic tumor type. “Bone and soft tissue sarcomas are the main types of sarcoma. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop from soft tissues like fat, muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, blood vessels, or deep skin tissues.”-American Cancer Society

    4. Coming soon. Onivyde + targeted therapies in hypoxic GASTRIC CANCER (GI cancers) tumors which lack the microenvironment for immune cells, specifically.

    5. Upshot: Merrimack thinks checkpoint inhibitors Keytruda and Opidvo cannot work in hypoxic tumors that lack the microenvironment needed for antigen and immune cells to jump start/stimulate an immune response. Onivyde is targeting these hypoxic tumors. Instead of teaming up with checkpoint inhibitors, they think they can avoid them.

    6. Emphasized will talk more on - Analyst's Day on May 19th.

    For MM-141, information he left out that is on poster:

    Istiratumab was designed, using an integrated Systems Biology‐based approach, to inhibit pro‐survival signaling in cancer cells by co‐blocking both IGF‐1R and ErbB3 receptors

    IGF‐1R, ErbB3 and/or their ligands can be identified in more than 95% of
    ovarian tumor samples

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by dcorm05 May 3, 2016 10:27 PM
    scistats scistats May 4, 2016 2:01 PM Flag

    The conversion cleaned up the books considerably and is one less thing to deal with during an acquisition.

    And as Yasir said, it saves money, but not enough to buy time or stop the fuse from burning. There is nothing Merrimack can do to change the fact that they must be bought. This is a mathematical fact.

    "While in many cases issuing convertible debt is often easier to deal with than issuing equity, the one situation where this often becomes complex is an acquisition while the debt is outstanding."

    Google: "convertible-debt-conversion-in-a-sale-of-the-company"

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by dcorm05 May 3, 2016 10:27 PM
    scistats scistats May 4, 2016 1:37 PM Flag

    If Dendreon had sold out to JNJ upon Provenge approval, we would be looking at Provenge version 10.0 by now. Instead, Dendreon decided to got it alone, and they got their nuts roasted. Valeant bought BK Dendreon for $495 million. They said, Provenge had been undermanaged and was a billion dollar product.

    Timing is key. CEO Mulroy has seen the light and understands that if he holds the Merrimack program back, it will stall and crash without helping anyone. A buyout is the definition of success for the majority of small biotechs.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by dcorm05 May 3, 2016 10:27 PM
    scistats scistats May 4, 2016 12:16 PM Flag

    Management was dodging questions about April Onivyde sales.
    They have a pretty good picture of the situation.

    I thought perhaps partnering MM-310 would help, but it would only be a drop in the bucket of the cash they need to compete. Either CEO Mulroy capitulates or he will rapidly take Merrimack BK.

    Dr. Al-Wakeel will orchestrate the buyout, and he has begun setting the stage with conversion of notes to shares.

    Big Pharma is not looking at month-to-month market trends, nor do they care about PPS fluctuations in the volatile small bio sector. They are looking at the competition and their position ten years down the road.

    Buyouts are happening now as seen with Stemcentrx which had the same manufacturing antibody directed nanotherapeutics (ADN) strategy as Merrimack. Discussions should already be underway if they know what is best.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by dcorm05 May 3, 2016 10:27 PM
    scistats scistats May 4, 2016 10:42 AM Flag

    CEO Mulroy has seen the light. They can probably make it to 2017 with more data readouts to negotiate a better price.

    The problem with waiting is that competition is trying to treat first and longer. They really need to sell immediately to establish the technology as a leader in antibody directed nanotherapeutics (ADN)

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    May 1, 2014

    by dchance75702 May 4, 2016 10:23 AM
    scistats scistats May 4, 2016 10:35 AM Flag

    Pancreatic cancer is rare, and enrollment of patients in the many phase 2 and phase 3 pancreatic clinical trials is subtracting from Onivyde's eligible paying patient base.

    A combination of USA and EU Onivyde sales is needed to make money with economies of scale across the entire Merrimack antibody directed nanotherapeutic (ADN) business. This requires a buyout and is especially true with checkpoint inhibitors arriving.

    Either Baxalta/Shire can do it or someone else. Proven candidates are in the pipeline. This is a mathematical certainty.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to


    by dcorm05 May 3, 2016 10:27 PM
    scistats scistats May 4, 2016 10:02 AM Flag

    Selling is a mathematical certainty.

    "We have never been profitable and, as of March 31, 2016, we had an accumulated deficit of $840.7 million." (Reference below)

    CEO Robert Mulroy may point to a vision of Merrimack as a Genentech-like member of a big pharma, but there is no denying even he has accepted that selling must happen. There is no way that Onivyde can be profitable without Europe. CEO Mulroy now understands that there is competition for eligible patients with many ongoing phase 2 and phase 3 pancreatic cancer clinical trials, and this number will get larger and more aggressive.

    The bottom line is: Merrimack has kept itself as intact as possible following the end of the MM-121 Sanofi deal. They have not diluted pipeline candidates among partners like many other small biotechs. Onivyde, which Merrimack acquired form Hermes BioSciences in 2009, is maintained in the United States by Merrimack, but Baxalta/Shire's EU share of Onivyde and the entire lineup of antibody directed nanotherapeutics (ADN) at MACK is needed to be profitable in tomorrow's immune checkpoint inhibitor world.

    CEO Robert Mulroy now understands this as the Onivyde numbers sink in relative to their deficit, likely with the help of Dr. Al-Wakeel and the board.

    Merrimack can be sold as a package deal including: antibody directed nanotherapeutics (ADN), antibodies, therapeutic manufacturing, diagnostic imaging, and molecular companion testing (with Leica), and their patient assistance program called Provyde. The MM-141 and MM-310 and MM-302 and MM-121 data look great. It is just a matter of when at this point.

    As dcorm05 said, more insider buying will serve to validate the buyout argument. Dr. Al-Wakeel is helping to orchestrate this process as seen by conversion of notes to shares. Additional validation on multiple fronts will seal the deal.

    FORM 10-Q
    (Quarterly Report)
    Filed 05/02/16 for the Period Ending 03/31/16

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    Onivyde is approve in 1L PC...

    by italian30_2000 May 3, 2016 11:50 AM
    scistats scistats May 3, 2016 6:53 PM Flag

    Italian, the numbers for Q1 are outstanding considering the large number of pancreatic cancer trials currently ongoing out there which compete directly with Onivyde for the same patients. Clinical trials are big competition for patients.

    Merrimack needs to go ahead and sell out to Baxalta/Shire so that they can achieve the economies of scale required for the nanoliposome platform. Stemcentrx pulled the trigger early for the same reason. The writing is on the wall, and maybe Al-Wakeel is positioning them for this. The sooner the better.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Jup, its a tough "row" to hoe, as in cotton...
    You are right about it being hard to hoe though, but the question is why?

    Let face it, Onivyde knocked it out of the ballpark if you ask me considering the competition.

    Pancreatic cancer is a small population disease.

    Just quickly looking, there are some combined 268 open phase 2 and 3 interventional studies for pancreatic cancer. The vast majority of these are recruiting. Many of these studies are enrolling hundreds of patients. This would account for many "post-gemcitabine" patients who will not show up for the Onivyde end of quarter roll call.

    Merrimack's largest competitor is a free experimental pill known as "Clinical Trial Sulfate".

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • scistats scistats May 3, 2016 6:53 AM Flag

    Cut MM-141?
    Did you see the MM-141 (Istiratumab) + Taxol or Doxil in-vivo tumor growth data?

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • scistats scistats May 3, 2016 6:43 AM Flag

    MM-310 is Onivyde loaded with docetaxel pro-drug topped with EphA2 antibody.
    It is an already proven nanoliposome chassis carrying a proven prodrug version of docetaxel.
    The EphA2 antibody topping is a no-brainer.
    Big partnership coming soon.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • 1. Yasir did a great job of explaining the cost savings rationale behind the conversion, and he seems to be in control of getting the books in order. He is a major asset to Merrimack.

    2. It is now abundantly clear that Merrimack is promoting MM-310 to be partnered. Since Celgene makes ABRAXANE®, they would be an ideal partner since "a newly engineered chemical entity of docetaxel as a prodrug" is being used....something is up here.

    3. Next catalysts will be Baxalta EU Onivyde approval milestone payment and MM-310 partnership.

    About MM-310:

    MM-310 is an antibody directed nanotherapeutic (ADN) targeting the EphA2 receptor, which tumor surveys suggest is present in 50-100% of major tumor types including prostate, ovarian, bladder, gastric and lung cancers

    MM-310's novel ADN design was developed to maximize the delivery and local activation of a newly engineered chemical entity of docetaxel as a prodrug

    MM-310 had superior antitumor activity compared to traditional docetaxel (100 days versus 40 days of full tumor regression) while significantly decreasing drug-related side effects in preclinical models

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • 1. What do MM-161 & MM-436 target?

    2. When will the EU approve Onivdye? CHMP meeting dates are:
    23-26 May
    20-23 June
    18-21 July

    3. Is $422.2 million remaining in the Baxalta deal? How much for EU Onivyde approval & Onivyde sales milestones?

    4. Is the Allergan agreement to use MACK's nanoliposomal platform still active? Are there any new nanoliposome or antibody manufacturing contracts? If not, is large-scale manufacturing still viable for MACK at its current 100+ employee burn rate?

    5. Are MM-302 and MM-310 going to be partnered with Baxalta/Shire as Antibody Directed Nanotherapeutic (ADN) extensions of Onivyde? Can we expect needed upfront cash soon?

    6. Will MM-141 (istiratumab) or MM-121 or any other MACK candidate be partnered with a checkpoint inhibitor + chemo?

    7. MM-302 and MM-310 antibody directed nanotherapeutic (ADN) are similar in principle to Stemcentrx's Rova-T. Will MACK target DLL3 (delta like protein 3) with its ADN platform for small cell lung cancer (SCLC)?

    8. The MM-310 preclinical data looks great! What is the docetaxel prodrug being used to target EphA2, and how significant is MM-310's achievement of pre-clinical 100 days vs. 40 days full tumor regression with low toxicity?

    9. Silvercreek appears to be circling the drain. Is there any news about this "asset" or new spin-offs?

    10. Merrimack is localizing cancer using imaging technology as described in clinical trial NCT01770353 which is in Expansion Phase for advanced metastatic breast cancer. Is Merrimack imaging to support MACK therapeutics only or is imaging for diagnosis & monitoring going to be marketed for any therapeutic?

    11. Is the Leica diagnostic deal exclusively for pairing Merrimack therapeutics with the right patients, or a is it a stand-alone business unit for pairing patients with any available therapy targeting the same protein?

    12. Is PROVYDE™ (ONIVYDE® Access Services) only for MACK therapeutics, or is it a new stand-alone business for broader patient services?

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Reply to

    The AbbVie-Stemcentrx deal bodes well for MACK

    by scistats Apr 30, 2016 10:10 PM
    scistats scistats May 1, 2016 2:42 PM Flag

    It is a stretch at 30PPS maybe, but Merrimack has an approved drug that can likely achieve the same thing as Rova-T.

    In Stemcentrx's data, I see 31% of small cell lung cancer patients had the best case of disease stabilization using Rova-T but no shrinkage mentioned in what I read.

    Small cell lung cancer is certainly an under-served cancer, but because of this, we need to see a full phase 3 study to really know what is going on here because there is considerable variation among patients as it is.

    I do not think AbbVie can patent DLL3 as a target itself, so Merrimack can simply target Onivyde to delta-like 3 (DLL3) using its own antibody. Right? Just like many companies are going after HER3.

    Then, it will be Onivyde vs. antobody-linker-tesirine

    "Rova-T is an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) consisting of three components:
    1. an antibody, 2. a linker and 3. the active chemotherapy"

    "Rovalpituzumab tesirine consists of a monoclonal antibody against DLL3 linked to the cytotoxic agent tesirine, a DNA-damaging pyrrolobenzodiazepine dimer toxin."

    “Of the 48 tumour samples we were able to analyse, 33 were positive for DLL3. Among the 29 DLL3+ patients we could treat at the maximum tolerated dose of Rova-T, ten (34%) had a partial response and nine (31%) had disease stabilisation. The duration of response among these patients was more than 178 days, with no cases of disease progression,” Dr Pietanza will say.

    Rova-T is an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) consisting of three components – an antibody, a linker and the active chemotherapy, or cytotoxic payload. The antibody portion of an ADC can recognise cell surface receptors specific to and that are over-expressed in cancer cells, allowing the delivery of the chemotherapy directly to the tumour. This means the treatment is more effective, and also minimises its exposure to normal cells, with a consequent reduction in toxicity."

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • Stemcentrx was a smaller parallel of MACK and AbbVie was willing to pay for it.

    MACK has a Mkt cap of 863.19M.
    One could see a buyout at 20 PPS to 30 PPS if the Onivyde ramp continues to be robust and that value of MM-141 is understood.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy