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Sanofi-aventis and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Enter Into a Worldwide Collaboration and Licensing Agreement on MM-121, an Anti-ErbB3 Monoclonal Antibody
Date:10/1/2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and sanofi-aventis announced today the signing of an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for the development and co-commercialization of MM-121, a first-in-class, fully human monoclonal antibody designed to block signaling of the ErbB3 receptor. MM-121 is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing.

Under the terms of the agreement, sanofi-aventis will make an upfront payment of $60 million and will be responsible for all development costs. Merrimack is eligible for an additional $470 million in milestone payments as well as tiered double-digit royalties on sales of MM-121. Merrimack will execute the development of MM-121 through Phase 2 proof of concept for each indication and sanofi-aventis will be responsible for development thereafter. Merrimack retains the right to co-promote the therapy in the United States.

"Merrimack's expertise along with their knowledge of biologics development has allowed them to successfully identify ErbB3 as a promising target and rapidly bring MM-121 into clinical development," declared Marc Cluzel, Senior Vice-President R&D, sanofi-aventis. "MM-121 is a pioneering monoclonal antibody which brings a new innovative approach to sanofi-aventis' oncology portfolio. We are very excited to collaborate with Merrimack on the development of MM-121, which we believe is a very promising compound that will address a significant gap in treating cancer patients".

The ErbB3 receptor is a novel target known to be a key mediator of signaling in the ErbB pathway (also known as the EGFR or HER pathway) -- a signaling network that impacts a broad array of cancers. By targeting ErbB3, MM-

121 is believed to have a broad application across cancer as both a monotherapy and in combination with other therapeutics. Research data has also shown that ErbB3 may also play a central role in resistance to both targeted ther
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SOURCE Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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