Morphotek, Inc and Lonza Group Ltd Enter into Manufacturing Services Agreement

May 19,2009 Exton, PA and Basel, Switzerland
  • Agreement Underscores Morphotek’s Commitment to The Development of Farletuzumab for Ovarian Cancer
  • Agreement Highlights Lonza’s Ability To Offer Specialty Development and Manufacturing Solutions

 

Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, and Lonza Group Ltd jointly announced today that they have executed a manufacturing services agreement to support the development and manufacturing of a subset of antibodies in Morphotek’s therapeutic antibody pipeline. The agreement will reserve capacity for commercial manufacturing of Morphotek’s lead compound farletuzumab (also known as MORAb-003), which recently entered Phase III clinical trials for ovarian cancer under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The collaboration between both parties already encompasses several other monoclonal antibodies currently in clinical or preclinical development.

“Lonza is an ideal partner and collaborator on this project,” said Philip Sass, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Morphotek. “They have a great deal of experience and expertise with large scale expression and purification of commercial antibody products. They have demonstrated their ability to develop high-quality material and documentation with several of our programs and serve as an extension of our development team at Morphotek. Based on our working experience, we are confident that Lonza will meet our production, quality goals and timelines for our antibody programs.”

“Lonza is excited to participate in supporting the commercial manufacturing of Morphotek’s lead compound, farletuzumab,” said Stephan Kutzer, Head of Lonza Biopharmaceuticals. “Lonza looks forward to continuing and expanding the Morphotek relationship for both development and manufacturing services using Lonza’s proprietary GS Gene Expression SystemTM toward their pipeline of promising compounds.”

Through the use of its proprietary MORPHODOMA® technology, Morphotek develops optimized antibodies, including antibodies optimized for affinity and/or titer, for therapeutic applications and high-titer manufacturing cell lines. The antibodies within the company’s pipeline are targeted against antigens licensed from its collaborative partners. Through its technology and collaborations, the company remains committed to bringing a new treatment option for patients with ovarian cancer.

 

About Lonza

Lonza is one of the world's leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries. Its products and services span its customers’ needs from research to final product manufacture. Lonza is the global leader in the production and support of active pharmaceutical ingredients, both chemically and biologically. Biopharmaceuticals are one of the key growth drivers of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Lonza has strong capabilities in large and small molecules, peptides, amino acids and niche bioproducts which play an important role in the development of novel medicines and healthcare products. Lonza is a leader in cell-based research, endotoxin detection and cell therapy manufacturing. Lonza is also a leading provider of value chemical and biotech ingredients to the nutrition, hygiene, preservation, agro and personal care markets.

Lonza is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. In 2008, Lonza had sales of CHF 2.937 billion. Further information can be found at www.lonza.com.

 

About Morphotek

Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of novel and proprietary technologies. These technologies have been successfully applied to a variety of molecules 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 more information, please visit www.morphotek.com.

 

About Eisai Corporation of North America

Eisai Corporation of North America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. Eisai Corporation of North America supports the activities of its operating companies in North America, which include: Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc., a discovery operation with strong organic chemistry capabilities; Morphotek, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; Eisai Medical Research Inc., a clinical development group; Eisai Inc., a commercial operation with manufacturing and marketing/sales functions; and Eisai Machinery U.S.A., which markets and maintains pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery. For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com.

 

For further Information:

Lonza
Head Corporate Communications
Michael Frizberg
Tel +41 61 316 8624
Fax +41 61 316 9624
michael.frizberg@lonza.com

Media Relations
Dominik Werner
Tel +41 61 316 8798
Fax +41 61 316 9798
dominik.werner@lonza.com

Investor Relations
Alexandre Pasini
Tel +41 61 316 8835
Fax +41 61 316 9835
alexandre.pasini@lonza.com

Morphotek®, Inc.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Philip M. Sass
Tel +1 610 423 6106
info@morphotek.com

Eisai Corporation of North America
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Judee Shuler
+1 201 746 2241
Judee_Shuler@eisai.com

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