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Morphotek(R), Inc. Announces a Research Collaboration Agreement with Synageva BioPharma Corporation to Develop Potential Treatments for Cancer and Infectious Disease
Date:7/1/2009

EXTON, Penn., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek(R), Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, announced a research collaboration agreement with Synageva BioPharma Corporation to express and develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for the potential treatment of various forms of cancer and infectious disease.

Under the terms of the agreement, Synageva will use its proprietary Synageva Expression Platform (SEP(TM)) technology and its expertise to produce and develop a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. SEP(TM) is an integrated platform of proprietary systems for protein production, processing and purification.

"Morphotek is an industry leader in antibody discovery and development," said Sanj K. Patel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synageva BioPharma Corporation. "Their commitment to utilizing Synageva's platform is a testament to the strength of our science and product development capabilities and we are excited about the potential for this collaboration."

"We have a rich pipeline of antibody products such as MORAb-003, or farletuzumab, for ovarian cancer in Phase III, MORAb-009 for pancreatic cancer in Phase II and MORAb-004 that is pan-cancer specific in Phase I," stated Philip M. Sass, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Morphotek, Inc. "We are always exploring new ways that may enhance the manufacturing process for our antibody products as a means to fulfill Eisai's hhc mission."

Through the use of its proprietary MORPHODOMA(R) technology, Morphotek develops optimized antibodies, including antibodies optimized for affinity and/or titer, for therapeutic applications and high-titer manufacturing cell lines. The company has assembled a portfolio of lead human and humanized antibodies to antigens associated with cancer, neovascular, inflammatory and infectious disease. The antibodies within the company's pipeline are targeted against antigens licensed from its collaborative partners.

About Morphotek

Morphotek(R), Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of novel and proprietary technologies. These technologies have been successfully applied to a variety of molecules 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 Corporation of North America

Eisai Corporation of North America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., and supports the activities of its operating companies in North America, which include: Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc., a discovery operation with strong organic chemistry capabilities; Morphotek, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; Eisai Medical Research Inc., a clinical development group; Eisai Inc., a commercial operation with manufacturing and marketing/sales functions; and Eisai Machinery U.S.A., which markets and maintains pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery.

About Synageva

Synageva BioPharma Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel, next generation, and follow-on protein therapeutics that leverage the unique competitive advantages of its proprietary Synageva Expression Platform (SEP(TM)). Synageva's development programs address specific unmet medical or market needs in several therapeutic areas including oncology, organ dysfunction, autoimmune diseases and rare disorders. The company has generated a diverse pipeline of product candidates including high-potency monoclonal antibodies with up to 100 fold increased ADCC (Antibody Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity), novel proteins for rare diseases, and next generation and follow-on cytokines. Further information regarding Synageva BioPharma Corporation is available at www.synageva.com.


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SOURCE Morphotek, Inc.
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