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Merrimack Reports First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:MACK), a biopharmaceutical company discovering, developing and preparing to commercialize innovative medicines paired with companion diagnostics for the treatment of cancer, today announced its first quarter 2013 financial results.

"We continue to execute on the advancement of our pipeline to address large unmet needs in the treatment of cancer," said Robert Mulroy, President and CEO of Merrimack. "We look forward to the second half of 2013 when we expect to report on the Phase 3 trial of MM-398 in second line pancreatic cancer and a number of Phase 2 results from MM-121 in breast, ovarian and non-small cell lung cancers."

Merrimack will host a conference call today, Monday, May 13 at 11 a.m., Eastern time, to provide a brief update on its development pipeline. The call will also provide a summary of first quarter 2013 financial results.

Investors and the general public are invited to listen to the call by dialing (877) 564-1301 (domestic) or (224) 357-2394 (international) five minutes prior to the start of the call and providing the passcode 5892 0223. A listen-only webcast of the call can be accessed in the Investors section of Merrimack's website, http://investors.merrimackpharma.com , and a replay of the call will be archived there for six weeks following the call.

Key Recent Events, Upcoming Milestones and Conferences

In the past two months, the following key events occurred:

  • Completion of enrollment in a MM-121 Phase 2 clinical trial in advanced ovarian cancer, a MM-121 Phase 2 cohort in HER2-negative breast cancer and a MM-121 Phase 2 cohort in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC);
  • Presentation of preclinical data for five candidates at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, including oral presentations on MM-121 and MM-111;
  • Launch of Merrimack's new corporate website: www.merrimackpharma.com ;
  • Hosting of inaugural Research and Development Day reviewing the clinical stage therapeutic candidates; and
  • Announcement of top line results from one of three cohorts (Group C) in a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating MM-121 in combination with erlotinib in NSCLC. The 50 patient, single arm cohort did not meet the primary endpoint, but preliminary biomarker analysis from the study was encouraging and will be analyzed in the context of the overall MM-121 clinical development program. 

Merrimack anticipates the following milestones in the next 12 months:

  • Completion of enrollment and announcement of top line data for the NAPOLI-1 study, MM-398's global Phase 3 clinical trial in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer;
  • Announcement of top line data from several MM-121 Phase 2 clinical trials focused on breast, ovarian and NSCLC cancers;
  • Initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial for MM-111 in second line gastric cancer; and
  • Initiation of multiple Phase 1 combination and translational studies. 

Merrimack expects to present at a number of investor conferences in the coming months including:

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2013 Healthcare Conference, May 14-16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada;
  • UBS Global Healthcare Conference, May 20-22, 2013 in New York, New York; and
  • Jefferies 2013 Global Healthcare Conference, June 3-5, 2013 in New York, New York. 

First Quarter 2013 Financial Results 

  • Net loss for the first quarter of 2013 was $28.3 million, or basic and diluted net loss per share available to common stockholders of $0.29, compared with net loss for the first quarter of 2012 of $23.4 million, or basic and diluted net loss per share available to common stockholders of $2.14. This decrease in net loss per share available to common stockholders was primarily attributable to an increase in the weighted-average common shares used in computing net loss per share available to common stockholders as a result of Merrimack's April 2012 initial public offering in which all outstanding shares of Merrimack's convertible preferred stock were converted into 66,255,529 shares of common stock and in which Merrimack issued 15,042,459 new shares of common stock.    
  • Collaboration revenues for the first quarter of 2013 were $14.7 million, compared with $11.3 million for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $3.4 million, or 30%. This increase was primarily a result of increases in development and manufacturing revenues recognized under the 2009 license and collaboration agreement with Sanofi for the development and commercialization of MM-121.  
  • Research and development expenses for the first quarter of 2013 were $37.0 million, compared with $31.7 million for the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $5.3 million, or 17%. This increase was primarily attributable to the following: 

-- $3.9 million of increased MM-121 spending primarily due to increased enrollment of ongoing clinical trials; -- $2.4 million of increased MM-111 spending primarily due to the preparation to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial; and -- $1.8 million of increased spending on preclinical programs, general research and discovery due to an increase in the number of preclinical programs in the pipeline and increased costs associated with each preclinical program as these programs approach clinical development. 

These increases were partially offset by the following decreases:

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