MM-398

MM-398 is a nanotherapeutic consisting of the chemotherapuetic irinotecan, encapsulated in a liposomal sphere. MM-398 is designed to rely on the natural blood flow of the tumor to direct the therapy directly to the site of the cancer and minimize exposure to non-target cells. In preclinical studies, the chemotherapy loaded liposome is absorbed inside tumor cells resulting in the delivery of larger quantities of chemotherapy than can be achieved by conventional administration.

In line with Merrimack’s mission to create integrated medicines, we are developing an imaging diagnostic and using our Network Biology approach to simultaneously develop biopsy-based assays, both of which are designed to help identify patients most likely to respond to MM-398 treatment. Our goal is to enable MM-398 to provide a more robust and durable clinical response than observed with conventional chemotherapy.

Our research suggests an opportunity to develop MM-398 in multiple indications. We feel MM-398 has the potential to:
  • Minimize exposure to healthy tissues
  • Increase tumor delivery of a proven chemotherapy through the natural tendency of liposomes to accumulate in tumor environments
  • Selectively deliver irinotecan higher quantities than can be achieved by conventional administration
MM-398 in the Clinic

MM-398 is being evaluated in clinical trials for its ability to treat tumors resistant to chemotherapy across multiple types of cancers, including pancreatic, lung, colorectal and glioma. The FDA and the European Medicines Agency granted MM-398 orphan drug designation in 2011 for the treatment of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer who have previously failed treatment with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine. Our Phase 3 study, NAPOLI-1 (NAnoliPOsomaL Irinotecan), is currently underway.

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