Ahead of the Bell: Merrimack partners with Actavis

Merrimack Pharma to receive up to $15.5M through collaboration with Actavis

Associated Press

Shares of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped Tuesday before markets opened and after the cancer drug developer said it could receive up to $15.5 million through a collaboration with Actavis Plc.

Merrimack will receive $2 million upfront and the rest of the money in funding and development and regulatory and commercial milestone payments. The Cambridge, Mass., company also said it will receive a double-digit share of profits on future global sales of any products derived from the collaboration.

Under the deal, Merrimack will develop and make products for Dublin-based Actavis to sell globally.

Merrimack has no products on the market, but it has several potential cancer treatments in its drug development pipeline. That includes a pancreatic cancer drug in late-stage testing.

It also is working with French drugmaker Sanofi on a potential treatment for forms of breast, lung and advanced ovarian cancers.

Merrimack shares climbed more than 11 percent, or 36 cents, to $3.53, on Tuesday in premarket trading. The stock had fallen 48 percent so far this year, as of Monday.

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