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Merrimack, CTCA Collaborate to Accelerate Individualized Treatment of Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America announced a research collaboration to better understand cancer on the molecular level and accelerate personalized treatments for the disease.

As part of the collaboration, CTCA will provide archived tumor biopsies from its extensive tumor databank and collected tumor samples for analysis using Merrimack's Network Biology approach for identifying the network signaling that drives cancer growth. Because many of CTCA's patients are in the advanced stages of cancer and have received many prior lines of treatment, its tumor archive offers Merrimack the chance to investigate how a tumor changes on the molecular level due to therapy.

"Access to CTCA's tumor samples greatly enhances the speed and scope of the research we are doing to understand the complexity of cancer cells and to characterize what their growth is dependent upon," Merrimack CEO Robert Mulroy said in a statement. "This collaboration represents the future of individualized treatment where a hospital and biopharmaceutical company work together on research, which we hope will ultimately result in much better treatment for cancer patients."

The partnership, CTCA and Merrimack said, could result in companion diagnostics to guide treatment.

The partners will also collaborate on clinical studies of Merrimack's therapeutics. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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