Merrimack completes enrolment in second cohort of lung cancer study

29th April 2013 (Last Updated April 29th, 2013 18:30)

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals has completed patient enrolment in the second cohort of its MM-121 Phase II study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals has completed patient enrolment in the second cohort of its MM-121 Phase II study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The randomised, three-cohort Phase II trial will assess MM-121, developed in collaboration with Sanofi, in combination with erlotinib in NSCLC patients.

Merrimack MM-121 programme senior medical director Dr Akos Czibere said the patients, their families and the lung cancer community offered support to the study, resulting in rapid patient accrual.

"We are hopeful that our translational work will help us gain a better understanding of the biomarker profile of NSCLC EGFR wild-type tumors," Czibere said.

"The randomised, three-cohort Phase II trial will assess MM-121, developed in collaboration with Sanofi, in combination with erlotinib in NSCLC patients."

"This could help characterise the role of ErbB3 in this patient population and identify those patients who are likely to benefit most from the addition of MM-121 to erlotinib."

The fully human monoclonal antibody, MM-121, targets ErbB3, a cell surface receptor believed to be aid in tumour growth and survival.

The cohort (Group A), part of a larger, randomised Phase II study, is designed to assess the efficacy of MM-121 in combination with erlotinib, compared to treatment with erlotinib alone.

A total of 133 patients with EGFR wild-type NSCLC tumours and recurring or progressive disease after at least one chemotherapy-containing regimen but no previous EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy were enrolled.

The company expects to release the final results from the group in the second half of 2013.

The ongoing second cohort (Group B) includes patients whose tumours harbour an EGFR mutation and have not received prior EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.

The completed third cohort (Group C) included patients who were previously treated with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor and progressed on that therapy.