Eisai acquires Morphotek in $325M deal

Japan's Eisai is buying Morphotek for $325 million in order to add experimental oncology drugs to its pipeline. The deal underscores the growing importance of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in development. Morphotek was founded in 2000 and has a pipeline of antibodies in development for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious disease. Among its drug candidates are MORAb-003, in Phase I/II for ovarian cancer, and MORAb-009, in Phase I for pancreatic cancer. Last September, Eisai-Japan's fourth largest drug maker-paid $205 million to Ligand to the rights for four cancer therapies.

"Morphotek's rich pipeline, unique and proprietary antibody generation technology platform, and highly skilled management and scientific team will become the core of our R&D efforts in biologics," said Eisai president Haruo Naito.

- here's the release on the buyout
- read the AFX report on the buyout

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