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Morphotek, Inc. Announces That Two Investigational Drugs Have Received Orphan Drug Designations
Date:6/8/2011

EXTON, Pa., June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designations to two of its investigational cancer drugs, MORAb-004 for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma and MORAb-066 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.  

The FDA grants this designation to drugs with the potential to treat a rare disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.  According to data from the National Cancer Institute, in the United States in 2010 the prevalence figure for soft tissue sarcoma was 101,982 and for pancreatic cancer was 32,993 (www.seer.cancer.gov).

"We are very pleased to receive orphan drug designations for not only one, but two investigational compounds for the potential treatment of cancer:  MORAb-004 for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma and MORAb-066 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer," said Nicholas C. Nicolaides, Ph.D., President and CEO of Morphotek. "We believe that working toward treating disease, no matter the size of the patient population, is essential to the achievement of our human health care mission, which is to give first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits that health care provides.  Ultimately, these compounds could significantly improve our ability to provide enhanced treatment options for patients suffering from two very serious diseases."  

MORAb-004 is a humanized monoclonal antibody to endosialin/tumor endothelial marker-1 (TEM-1), which is a protein that is expressed in many human malignancies, and which plays a role in tumor development. MORAb-004 binds to TEM-1, and has demonstrated antitumor activity in a variety of nonclinical models.  A phase I ascending dose study with MORAb-004 is currently being performed in subjects with a variety of
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SOURCE Morphotek, Inc.
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