CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:MACK) and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) announced
today that they have formed a unique and wide ranging partnership to advance their long-term vision of individualized treatment - where diagnosis and therapy is guided by an in-depth
understanding of the underlying mechanism of a patient's disease. The collaboration encompasses research on diagnostics based on a network signaling approach to analyzing
patients' tumors as well as clinical trial research.
For the diagnostic research, CTCA will contribute archived tumor biopsies from their extensive tumor databank as well as prospectively collected tumor samples. These samples will
analyzed using Merrimack's Network Biology approach to identifying the network signaling that drives cancer growth with the goal of understanding each patient's cancer at the
level. Many of CTCA's patients are battling advanced cancer and have received many prior lines of therapy. This makes CTCA's tumor archive particularly unique as they offer an
for Merrimack to explore how the molecular characteristics of a tumor change as a result of therapy. This joint effort eventually could lead to the identification of novel companion
diagnostics to guide treatment decisions.
"Every day, experts at CTCA provide personalized care to advanced and late-stage cancer patients. This partnership with Merrimack supports our goal to give every patient an
focused treatment plan, using innovative technologies and tools to help fight their cancer and improve their quality of life," said Maurie Markman, M.D., Senior Vice President of Clinical
Affairs & National Director of Medical Oncology at CTCA. "We believe that the innovations that come from this partnership could help provide the right treatment for every patient's unique
"Access to CTCA's tumor samples greatly enhances the speed and scope of the research we are doing to understand the complexity of cancer cells and to characterize what their
is dependent upon," says Robert Mulroy, CEO of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. "CTCA is a great example of a forward-looking institution trying to change the face of cancer care. This
collaboration represents the future of individualized treatment where a hospital and a biopharmaceutical company work together on research, which we hope will ultimately result in
better treatment for cancer patients."
The collaboration also encompasses clinical research. Merrimack will collaborate with CTCA investigators to take advantage of the rich clinical expertise at CTCA through participation
and collaboration on clinical studies of Merrimack therapeutics.
About Merrimack Pharmaceuticals
Merrimack is a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of
diseases, with an initial focus on cancer. Merrimack applies Network Biology, its proprietary systems biology-based approach to biomedical research, throughout the research and
development process. Merrimack currently has five targeted therapeutic oncology candidates in clinical development.
Any statements in this press release about Merrimack's future expectations, plans and prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Merrimack anticipates that subsequent events
and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Merrimack may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Merrimack specifically
disclaims any obligation to do so.
Andrew Welhouse, Public Affairs, CTCA, 847-342-6471
Kathleen Petrozzelli Gallagher, Corporate Communications
Merrimack, 617-441-1043, firstname.lastname@example.org
Betsy Stevenson, RaymondStevenson Healthcare Communications,
About Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to www.cancercenter.com.