EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that the company has entered into a sponsored research agreement (SRA) with Hokkaido University to evaluate the anti-tumor effect of amatuximab (MORAb-009) for advanced pancreatic cancer. Funding from this grant will support a pre-clinical study to evaluate the potential of amatuximab alone and in combination with gemcitabine in an adjuvant setting.
Amatuximab (MORAb-009) is a monoclonal antibody that binds mesothelin, a cell surface protein on pancreatic, mesothelioma and a subset of other types of tumor cells. Mesothelin has been demonstrated by several independent studies to be expressed on virtually all mesothelioma tumors.
“Pancreatic cancer can be a devastating disease, because it is commonly discovered at an advanced stage; in its earliest stages it is typically asymptomatic,” said Nicholas Nicolaides, President and CEO of Morphotek. “We are hopeful that the data may bring us one step closer to providing hope for these patients; further exemplifying our human health care (hhc) mission to satisfy unmet medical needs and increase the benefits to patients, their caregivers and families.”
Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of a novel and proprietary gene evolution technology. The technology has been successfully applied to a broad variety of cell lines and organisms to yield genetically diverse offspring that are suitable for pharmaceutical product development in the areas of antibody therapeutics, protein therapeutics, product manufacturing, drug target discovery, and improved output traits for commercial applications. The company is currently focusing its platform on the development and manufacturing of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and infectious disease. For more information, please visit www.morphotek.com.
About Eisai Inc.
Eisai Inc. was established in 1995 and is ranked among the top-20 U.S. pharmaceutical companies (based on retail sales). The company began marketing its first product in the United States in 1997 and has rapidly grown to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with fiscal year 2009 (year ended March 31, 2010) sales of approximately $3.9 billion. Eisai’s areas of commercial focus include neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. The company serves as the U.S. pharmaceutical operation of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world.
Eisai has a global product creation organization that includes U.S.-based R&D facilities in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. The company’s areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs. For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com.
Nicholas Nicolaides, 610-423-6100
Judee Shuler, 201-746-2241
Dave Melin, 908-255-6378
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