Morphotek is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel classes of biological-based products to treat cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases. Our mission is to develop novel, targeted therapies that attack underlying disease pathways, and in oncology, that can overcome the immunosuppressive effects by tumors on immune-mediated experimental therapies. Our diverse pipeline includes clinical-stage monoclonal antibodies to lead targets folate receptor alpha, mesothelin and endosialin, as well as antibody drug conjugates and bispecific antibodies to undisclosed targets in preclinical development. Our mission is supported by the proprietary cutting-edge technologies in antibody engineering, manufacturing and screening optimization platforms, along with our expertise in developing diagnostics to support patient selection and therapeutic strategy.
Post-graduate research executed by Morphotek’s President and CEO, Dr. Nicholas Nicolaides, during his studies at Johns Hopkins Medical School was the basis for the company’s inception. It was there that Dr. Nicolaides co-invented the company's legacy technology called morphogenics. Along with the honed applications for applying morphogenics for product development refined by the company’s other co-founders, Dr. Philip Sass and Dr. Luigi Grasso, morphogenics has taken Morphotek an incredible distance in the advancement of novel pharmaceutical products and targets.
Morphotek currently has several monoclonal antibodies in clinical development for cancer and inflammatory disease. Our lead program, farletuzumab, has completed a global Phase 3 clinical study in patients with platinum-sensitive, relapsed ovarian cancer and a Phase 2 clinical study in 1st-line non-small cell lung cancer.
Morphotek’s other lead monoclonal antibody programs, amatuximab and ontuxizumab, have been tested in clinical studies in cancers that are positive for the target to which they specifically bind, namely mesothelin and endosialin/TEM-1, respectively. Mesothelin has been shown to be expressed on a variety of malignancies including pancreatic adenocarcinoma, mesothelioma, non-small cell lung carcinoma and ovarian cancers. Endosialin/TEM-1 is a protein whose expression is primarily restricted to tumor-associated pericytes and tumor stromal cells. Ontuxizumab has been tested in Phase 2 clinical trials across a number of different cancer types.
Morphotek was founded in 2000 on the concept of a whole cell evolution technology to improve the effects of biologics-based therapies and optimize the titers of host cell production lines. In the spring of 2007, Morphotek was acquired by Eisai Co. Ltd, a global health care pharmaceutical company. One of Eisai’s areas of focus is oncology, and the company is well positioned to market oncology products developed by Morphotek. Morphotek’s proprietary technologies and promising antibodies, combined with Eisai’s existing research programs and infrastructure, enable the companies to work toward addressing unmet medical needs of patients, especially those with cancer and inflammatory diseases, all around the world.