Tomahawk, WI 05/06/2014 (Basicsmedia) – Last Thursday, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK) doubled its shares in premarket trading. They stated that their primary experimental cancer drug improved the rate of survival in people afflicted with metastatic pancreatic cancer, when used in combination.

“Statistically Significant” Leaps And Bounds

The pharmaceutical giant said that a combination of its drug, MM-398, and two others revealed an overall survival of 6.1 months, in comparison to 4.2 months as indicated by the two other drugs individually.

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK) stated on Thursday that it would look into acquiring an American marketing approval for the combination, later this year.

Their end-stage study included testing the drug on patients who had already been treated with gemcitabine, a chemotherapy drug.

When combined with another chemotherapy drug leucovorin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), the trial-tested MM-398helps enhance 5-FU’s effectiveness.

Merrimack said that their drug indicated an overall survival of 4.9 months when used by itself, which was not a statistically sufficient period.

Merrimack also mentioned that the most common side-effects in patients given the combination consisted of fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting and an abnormally low count of a type of white blood cells.

They went on to add that patients who’d been taking MM-398 by itself experienced a higher level of side effects in comparison to those who been administered the drug combination.

According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 46,420 new cases of pancreatic cancer are expected to crop up in the U.S this year.

Utilizing Its Momentum

Merrimack is also experimenting with the drug to see if it will work as a treatment for colorectal cancer, a rare form of bone cancer and a type of brain tumor.

Last Friday, May 2, they announced that the combination of PEP02 and 5-FU/LV could boost the survival rate of terminally ill patients to 6.1 months instead of the 4.2 months achieved for patients taking only 5-FU/LV.

The company’s shares were trading at $8.10 before the bell, after ending at $4.39 on the NASDAQ on Wednesday, April 30, prior to the announcement. The share prices rose by 59% to $6.99 after the announcement the next day, outperforming NASDAQ’s Composite Index, which was up by 0.31%.

After the drug is approved in the US, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK)k is planning to apply for permits for MM398 in Europe and Asia, except Taiwan.

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