Exton, PA, January 12, 2004 - Morphotek® Inc. announced today that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the development of therapeutic antibodies to a cancer-associated protein identified by researchers at the NCI. Morphotek will apply its proprietary MORPHODOMA® antibody technology to the development of novel antibodies for use in the treatment of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. The NCI will provide its expertise in characterizing and evaluating the lead antibodies for specificity and therapeutic efficacy.
"This agreement with the NCI is another valuable step in our company's goal of aggressively expanding our therapeutic antibody product portfolio," said Dr. Nicholas C. Nicolaides, President and Chief Executive Officer of Morphotek. "The NCI brings a great deal of expertise in the evaluation and validation of lead antibodies to these cancer-specific proprietary targets, while Morphotek's MORPHODOMA® antibody technology will provide for the rapid creation of antibodies and attendant high-titer cell lines for scaleable manufacturing that will ultimately lead to the advancement of these products into clinical development."
Dr. Philip M. Sass, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer added, "Our proprietary MORPHODOMA® technology offers our company the ability to generate a portfolio of unique therapeutic antibodies to validated disease associated targets acquired via collaborative licensing opportunities, such as this agreement with the NCI. This alliance will result in the development of a new class of drugs for the treatment of pancreatic cancer where an unmet need exists to find therapies for patients that develop this lethal disease."
Morphotek® Inc. is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of a novel and proprietary gene evolution technology. The technology has been successfully applied to a broad variety of cell lines and organisms to yield genetically diverse offspring 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 further company information visit www.morphotek.com.
For Information Contact:
Dr. Nicholas C. Nicolaides, President, CEO