EXTON, Pa., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tennessee has opened enrollment in a Phase I clinical study with MORAb-066 in patients with advanced or metastatic breast, pancreatic, colorectal or non-small cell lung cancer (adenocarcinoma) malignancies. The open-label Phase I study will assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of MORAb-066 administered with weekly intravenous infusions.
MORAb-066 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets tissue factor (TF), which is a protein whose role under normal conditions is to support blood coagulation. In cancer, it has been shown that TF is a membrane-bound antigen expressed by tumor endothelial cells that is hypothesized to play a role in promoting tumor angiogenesis and growth. Morphotek obtained exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize this antibody from Janssen Biotech, Inc.
"We are excited to have initiated this Phase I study of MORAb-066," stated Nicholas Nicolaides, Ph.D., President and CEO of Morphotek. "New agents are needed for cancer treatment and our strategy of using collaborations with leading research institutions provides us opportunities to develop novel medicines that target disease-specific pathways."
"MORAb-066's target as an inhibitor of TF may eventually offer a new approach in our efforts to develop cancer treatments," said Johanna Bendell, M.D. director of Sarah Cannon's GI Cancer Research Program. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate in the evaluation of this novel agent."
Further information on the clinical study can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov, study number NCT 01761240.
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.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., our passionate commitment to patient care is the driving force behind our efforts to help address unmet medical needs. We are a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our key areas of commercial focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US.
Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai's global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; metabolic disorders; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs.
About Sarah Cannon Research Institute
Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) is a global strategic research organization focusing on advancing therapies for patients. It is one of the largest clinical research programs, conducting community-based clinical trials in oncology and cardiology through affiliations with a network of more than 700 physicians in the United States and United Kingdom. Additionally, SCRI offers management, regulatory and other research support services to drug development sponsors and strategic investigator sites. For more information, please visit sarahcannonresearch.com.
SOURCE Morphotek, Inc.