Merrimack Cuts 22% of Workforce, CEO Resigns

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company, has announced a major corporate restructuring that includes a 22% reduction in its workforce and the elimination of more than $200 million in expected costs over the next two years. The objective of the restructuring is to prioritize the company’s research and development (R&D) to focus on a set of systems biology-derived oncology products and strengthening its financial runway.

The reduction in personnel will not impact the commercial team or the execution of the commercial launch and label expansion of the company’s ant-cancer agent Onivyde (irinotecan liposome injection), which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in October 2015 for patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas after disease progression following gemcitabine-based therapy.

The reduction in workforce was substantially completed on October 3, 2016 and is expected to be fully completed by December 3, 2016.

In line with the restructuring, the board of directors has accepted the resignation of Robert Mulroy, president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately. In order to accelerate this change, the board of directors has appointed chairman of the board, Gary Crocker, as interim president and CEO.

“The Board is committed to focusing our resources. This major restructuring will allow us to strategically align our pipeline with our core capabilities and prioritize ongoing clinical development efforts while improving our financial flexibility,” said Mr. Crocker in a company statement.

“We believe this sharper focus will drive efficiency and innovation and promote the interests of not only our shareholders and employees, but also of cancer patients worldwide. The realization of shareholder value will become as intense a focus for Merrimack as our strength in innovation and development. The Board is convinced that there is tremendous inherent value within Merrimack that can be unlocked,” Mr. Crocker added.

John Dineen, chairman of the organization and compensation committee and former CEO of GE Healthcare, will lead the CEO search process.

Source: Merrimack Pharmaceuticals

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