Merrimack raises $77M for cancer work

Cambridge-based Merrimack has raised $77 million to support development of its cancer drug pipeline. Investors in the Series G round include Credit Suisse First Boston Next Fund, Crocker Ventures, funds advised by Fred Alger Management,  funds advised by Noonday Asset Management, Jennison Associates, TPG-Axon Capital and WT Investment Advisors Fund, according to the release.

Merrimack says its pipeline consists of "engineered therapeutics paired with molecular diagnostics." The company's most advanced product candidate is MM-398, a nanoliposomal formulation of irinotecan (a drug marketed as Camptosar by Pfizer) in Phase II trials. Other pipeline candidates include ErbB3 antagonist MM-121 (Phase I/II, partnered with Sanofi-Aventis); MM-111 for breast cancer (Phase I/II); MM-302, a nanolipsomal formulation of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin; and MM-151 an oligoclonal antibody targeting the ErbB pathway. The developer also boasts three preclinical programs as well as other early-stage research projects.

"Over the last 10 years, our investors have been a critical force to help us build a biopharmaceutical company based on a systems approach to drug discovery and development," said CEO Robert Mulroy in a statement. "We are excited to add more quality investors who are aligned with our vision to create transformative medicines and diagnostics to benefit cancer patients everywhere."

- here's Merrimack's release