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Morphotek(R), Inc. Awarded Funding to Develop Therapeutic Antibodies Against Potential Biowarfare Toxins
Date:9/23/2009

EXTON, Pa., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek(R), Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, announced today that it was awarded $843,289 in funding from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, to support the development of human monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies against staphylococcal-derived toxin(s)(1).

Morphotek is applying its proprietary MORPHODOMA(R) antibody technology and experience to develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies with the ability to bind and neutralize the toxic effects of staphylococcal-derived pathogens.

"We are extremely pleased to receive continued support from the NIAID to develop novel compounds that have the potential to treat against biowarfare pathogens and infectious disease," said Nicholas Nicolaides, Ph.D., President and CEO of Morphotek. "We hope that this grant may accelerate the pace of our discovery and development of antibody therapeutics that will ultimately benefit both pathogen-exposed adults and their families."

This grant represents the third annual increment of this cooperative agreement award that Morphotek has received from the NIAID for the development of therapeutic antibodies that target staphylococcal pathogens. This program is consistent with Eisai's human health care (hhc) mission to satisfy unmet medical needs of, and increase the benefits to, patients and their families.

About NIAID

NIAID conducts and supports research -- at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide -- to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

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. The 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. These operating companies 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.

(1) The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or the National Institutes of Health and no official endorsement should be inferred.


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