Morphotek® Announces Antibody Development Agreement with the University of Pennsylvania
News Dec 23, 2008
Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, announced today that it has signed a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania to fund research for the development of therapeutic antibody candidates targeting an antigen associated with hypoxic regions in tumors. Hypoxia is a condition in which suboptimal oxygen concentrations exist in tissues.
“We are very interested in and looking forward to this collaboration, as targeting the hypoxic tumor microenvironment is a high priority in our ongoing efforts to develop more effective cancer therapies," said Dr. Wafik S. El-Deiry, Professor of Medicine, Genetics and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Co-Program Leader of the Radiation Biology & Imaging Program at the Abramson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Director for Physician-Scientist Training in Hematology/Oncology at University of Pennsylvania.
“We believe this relationship may lead to a deeper understanding of hypoxia pathways and their role in cancers, and may ultimately lead to the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that target antigens required for tumor cells to survive in hypoxic regions,” Dr. Wafik added.
“Morphotek continues to expand its oncology product pipeline through the addition of promising new targets and antibodies, and through the development of its therapeutic antibody candidates,” stated Nicholas C. Nicolaides, Ph.D., President and CEO of Morphotek.
“This collaboration builds upon our existing relationships with leading researchers at the University of Pennsylvania for possible advancement of therapeutic monoclonal antibody candidates into clinical trials. Dr. Wafik El-Deiry and his team bring significant expertise to our program in the area of tumor hypoxia, and we are very excited to be working together with his group,” Nicolaides said.