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Merrimack cancer drug fails mid-stage study, shares fall

(Reuters) - Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc said its cancer drug failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage study in patients with advanced ovarian cancers.

Shares of the company fell 10 percent in premarket trading.

The drug, used in combination with an approved chemotherapy drug, paclitaxel, failed to improve survival without the cancer progressing in the overall patient population compared with paclitaxel alone.

The combination also showed adverse events, including an increase in incidence of diarrhea and vomiting compared with paclitaxel alone.

The study tested the drug, codenamed MM-121, in patients with metastatic or recurrent ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer or primary peritoneal cancer who were resistant to previous treatment or did not respond to it.

Merrimack shares were down at $3.05 before the bell.

(Reporting By Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)