EXTON, Pa., Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that it entered into a second collaboration and license agreement with Biocare Medical, LLC (Biocare) to develop and commercialize an immunohistochemical (IHC) diagnostic kit utilizing Morphotek's proprietary monoclonal antibody to specifically detect mesothelin with Biocare's intelliPATH™ Automated Stainer. The agreement provides Biocare with a worldwide non-exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize an IHC kit for detection of mesothelin on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor tissues. This is the second such agreement between Morphotek and Biocare; the first a license agreement signed in 2011 to develop kits, now commercially available, to detect folate receptor alpha in malignant tissues.
"We are excited to continue the development of diagnostic kits utilizing our proprietary reagents in cooperation with Biocare and their innovative IHC platform technology," stated Daniel J. O'Shannessy, Ph.D., Head of Translational Medicine and Diagnostics at Morphotek. "This is our second agreement with Biocare and we look forward to developing a kit that can detect the tumor-associated cell-surface protein, mesothelin, to improve prognostic and therapeutic options for patients in support of our human healthcare mission."
Mesothelin is a cell-surface protein that is over-expressed in a variety of cancers including mesothelioma, non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma, pancreatic and ovarian carcinoma. Studies have found its expression variable among different cancer types; therefore, diagnostic assays that can identify patients with mesothelin-positive cancers may enable better diagnosis and treatment options for patients affected with mesothelin-expressing cancers. Mesothelin is the target of Morphotek's investigational therapeutic candidate, amatuximab, which is currently being assessed in a randomized, double-blind clinical trial in patients with newly diagnosed malignant pleural mesothelioma. Further information on the clinical study can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov, study number NCT02357147.
Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., is a biopharmaceutical 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 more information, please visit www.morphotek.com.
About Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., we have a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind our efforts to help address unmet medical needs. We are a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our key areas of commercial focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com.
Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai's global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; metabolic disorders; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs.
About Biocare Medical
Biocare Medical, LLC is an innovator in developing and supplying world class automated immunohistochemistry (IHC) instrumentation and the full range of reagents for IHC and ISH lab testing. Biocare Medical is the market leader in simultaneous Multiplex IHC and antibody development, which aids in the assessment of clinical cases and accelerates turnaround time. The company's customers include clinical histology laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, CROs, and biotechnology companies, as well as academic, government, military, and other non-profit laboratories. Biocare Medical offers an expanding portfolio of integrated products to address the rapidly growing cancer and infectious disease diagnostic and research markets using tissue immunostaining and in situ hybridization methods. Biocare Medical is headquartered and has manufacturing facilities in Concord, California, and has a global distribution network. For more information, please visit www.biocare.net.
SOURCE Morphotek, Inc.