CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MACK), a clinical-stage oncology company focused on biomarker-defined cancers, today announced the formation of a new Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), comprised of world-renowned experts in precision oncology, including expertise in biomarker-defined cancers, bioengineering, drug discovery and clinical development. The SAB will work closely with Merrimack's senior management team to advance the company's robust pipeline of targeted cancer therapies.
"We are thrilled to have recruited such a distinguished group of experts to our scientific advisory board," said Richard Peters, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Merrimack. "The SAB, and the strategic guidance they provide, will be an invaluable resource for Merrimack and we look forward to drawing on their expertise as we advance our novel precision therapeutics in biomarker-defined cancers."
The members of the Merrimack SAB are:
- Peter Blume-Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief Scientific Officer at XTuit Pharmaceuticals. He has extensive expertise in personalized oncology therapeutics and drug-tailored, efficacy-predictive biomarker discovery and development. Dr. Blume-Jensen has helped launch, lead, in-license and acquire novel oncology drug development programs at EMD Serono, Merck & Co. and Daiichi Sankyo. Prior to joining XTuit, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Metamark Genetics where he led the establishment and launch of a novel, automated intact tissue protein-based prostate cancer test, ProMark, included under NCCN Guidelines. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Veritas Genetics and is a co-founder and Board member of OncoSignature.
- George Demetri, M.D., is the Senior Vice President for Experimental Therapeutics and Director of the Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as well as Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where he also serves as Co-Director of the Ludwig Center at Harvard. Dr. Demetri's research and clinical interests are centered on mechanism-based drug development for solid tumors, and he has contributed to the development of numerous approved therapies, including Gleevec (imatinib), Sutent (sunitinib), Stivarga (regorafenib), Zelboraf (vemurafenib), Votrient (pazopanib) and Yondelis (trabectedin), as well as other therapies in development. He serves on Merrimack's Board of Directors, as well as on the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board of Blueprint Medicines.
- Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Ph.D., is the Ford Professor of Bioengineering at MIT, where he also serves as head of the department of biological engineering. Dr. Lauffenburger's research interests focus on an engineering systems analysis approach to understanding and treating complex disease. He has served on scientific advisory boards for Applied BioMath, Complete Genomics, Astra-Zeneca, CellPro, Entelos, Insert Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, and on the advisory committee to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
- Peter Sorger, Ph.D., is the Otto Krayer Professor of Systems Biology and head of the Program in Therapeutic Science (HiTS) at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as director of its Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology. Dr. Sorger's research focuses on the signal transduction networks controlling cell proliferation and death, dysregulation of these networks in cancer and inflammatory diseases and mechanisms of action of therapeutic drugs that target signaling proteins. His group uses a combination of mathematical and experimental ("systems biology") approaches to construct and test computational models of drug response and resistance. Sorger was a co-founder of the MIT systems biology program and Glencoe Software and one of the original academic founders of Merrimack.
- Josep Tabernero, M.D., Ph.D., is head of medical oncology at Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital, director of Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), and head of research innovation for the Catalonian Cancer Centers Network. He specializes in the development of molecular therapies targeting specific oncoproteins and accelerating more effective personalized cancer medicines for patients displaying genetic lesions or pathway disregulation. He is a member of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Merrimack is a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts that is outthinking cancer to ensure that patients and their families live fulfilling lives. Its mission is to transform cancer care through the smart design and development of targeted solutions based on a deep understanding of cancer pathways and biological markers. All of Merrimack's development programs, including four clinical studies and six candidates in preclinical development, fit into its strategy of 1) understanding the biological problems it is trying to solve, 2) designing specific solutions and 3) developing those solutions for biomarker-selected patients. This three-pronged strategy seeks to ensure optimal patient outcomes. For more information, please visit Merrimack's website at www.merrimack.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Merrimack constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Merrimack anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Merrimack may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Merrimack specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.
Geoffrey Grande, CFA
SOURCE Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.