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Morphotek®, Inc. Announces Initiation of Farletuzumab Phase II Study in First-Line Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Date:6/28/2011

EXTON, Pa., June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that it has commenced a multi-center phase II study of farletuzumab in adenocarcinoma of the lung, a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study will evaluate farletuzumab, a monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to folate receptor-alpha (FRA), with the physician's choice of one of three standard platinum-containing doublets that are approved and recommended for first-line metastatic lung cancer patients.

The trial is designed as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to determine if  farletuzumab delays the time to tumor progression when it is added to one of the standard-of-care chemotherapy options for metastatic adenocarcinoma of the lung. Secondary objectives include safety, response rate and duration of response, and overall survival benefit of patients treated with the antibody plus chemotherapy versus the chemotherapy with a placebo. The patient population includes individuals with advanced NSCLC adenocarcinoma who have tumors that over-express FRA and have not received any prior radiation or chemotherapy for curative intent of their disease. It is estimated that about three-quarters of adenocarcinoma of the lung are FRA-positive.

Morphotek expects to enroll up to 120 patients in this clinical study, which is being conducted at clinical centers globally.  As part of the study, a Morphotek-developed diagnostic kit will be used to determine patient eligibility.  

"We are excited to have initiated this global phase II study of farletuzumab in cooperation with leading physicians.  Since farletuzumab targets FRA, this personalized approach will include only those patients who could potentially benefit from therapy with the new agent," stated Julia Maltzman, M.D., Senior Director of Clinical Development at Morphotek. "NSCLC has a generally poor prognosis, so we hope that farletuzumab
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SOURCE Morphotek, Inc.
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