EXTON, Pa., Oct. 3, 2016/PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that it signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Eurofarma Laboratórios S.A. (Eurofarma) to develop and commercialize farletuzumab (MORAb-003) in Latin America. In exchange, Morphotek will receive an upfront payment, scheduled development and sales milestone payments, and other fees. Additionally, Morphotek will receive royalties from commercial sales of farletuzumab in Latin America. Morphotek will supply Eurofarma with clinical and commercial materials at an agreed-upon transfer price; Eurofarma has the option to assume responsibility for filling and labeling farletuzumab vials. Morphotek retains all rights to develop and commercialize farletuzumab in regions outside of Latin America.
Farletuzumab is an investigational, humanized, monoclonal antibody that binds to folate receptor alpha (FRA), which is highly expressed in epithelial cancers, such as ovarian, but mostly absent from normal tissue. Farletuzumab is currently being studied in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial (NCT02289950), MORAb-003-011, in first-relapsed, platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients with low levels of the immunosuppressive CA125 tumor antigen. The study is designed to investigate the efficacy and safety of farletuzumab in combination with standard chemotherapy in a specific subset of patients that may be more responsive to farletuzumab based on analysis of the recently concluded Phase 3 study.
"We are excited to partner with Eurofarma to develop farletuzumab in Latin America," said Nicholas Nicolaides, President and CEO of Morphotek. "This collaboration highlights the broad potential for farletuzumab and supports Morphotek's core mission of bringing novel first-in-class products to market for patients worldwide working with global and regional partners of excellence."
According to Maurizio Billi, President of Eurofarma, they are honored with Morphotek's partnership. "We are always looking for strategies that improve our pipeline. This agreement allows us to offer a high quality product to all Latin America."
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 (hhc) is our goal. We give our first thought 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 discover and develop innovative therapies to help address unmet medical needs.
Eisai is a fully integrated pharmaceutical business that operates in two global business groups: oncology and neurology (dementia-related diseases and neurodegenerative diseases). Each group functions as an end-to-end global business with discovery, development, and marketing capabilities. Our U.S. headquarters, commercial and clinical development organizations are located in New Jersey; our discovery labs are in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; and our global demand chain organization resides in Maryland and North Carolina. To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Founded in 1972, Eurofarma is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Brazil, conducting business across 90% of the Latin American market. Eurofarma maintains operating units in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay, and a presence in Mexico and Venezuela. Eurofarma's capabilities span from research and development to clinical trial execution to marketing and sales of in-licensed and wholly owned products. Eurofarma's mission is to promote access to health and quality of life with reasonably priced treatments while maintaining a profitable operation to assure sustainable growth and share the value generated with employees and society. To learn more about Eurofarma, please visit www.eurofarma.com.br.