Morphotek®, Inc. has announced the signing of a collaborative research agreement with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR). The multi-year agreement will fund research at LICR to develop model systems that can validate the role of novel pathways for human disease and conduct preclinical proof-of-concept studies to demonstrate the feasibility of employing antibodies to block these disease pathways, potentially leading to the development of novel therapies.
“This collaboration offers Morphotek novel technology and model systems to rapidly validate targets and potential therapeutic lead antibodies generated from our MORPHODOMA® technologies,” said Nicholas Nicolaides, Ph.D., President and CEO of Morphotek.
“The LICR research team has a proven scientific track record and technology for developing model systems, as well as the ability to test the activity of biological compounds for proof-of-concept at the preclinical stage. This collaboration will support our efforts to rapidly discover, develop and validate lead antibodies that can in turn be tested in clinical trials for a variety of potential disease indications.”
Morphotek and LICR have collaborated for several years on programs that have led to clinical candidates. The precursor antibody to Morphotek’s lead therapeutic antibody, MORAb-003, currently in Phase II trials for ovarian cancer, was originally discovered by LICR researchers and optimized using Morphotek’s MORPHODOMA® technology.
The target and precursor of a second antibody product, MORAb-004, in development for the treatment of neovascular diseases, also was discovered by LICR researchers using their proprietary technology.