NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK) hit a 52-week high of $8.50 in morning trading Wednesday after the company announced it would license marketing rights to its experimental pancreatic cancer drug MM-398 to Baxter International (BAX) .
Baxter will pay $100 million upfront to Merrimack as part of the collaboration agreement. Merrimack will retain commercialization rights to MM-398 in the U.S., while Baxter will have exclusive commercialization rights outside the U.S. and Taiwan. The rights in Taiwan are held separately.
As part of the agreement, Merrimack could receive up to $870 million in milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on net sales of MM-398.
Merrimack is planning to submit a new drug application for MM-398 in the U.S. Baxter plans to submit for regulatory approvals for the drug outside the U.S. beginning in 2015.
The stock was up 7.79% to $7.75 at 10:27 a.m. More than 6.4 million shares changed hands, compared to the average volume of 1,342,500.