Morphotek®,Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California has opened enrollment in a Phase I clinical study with MORAb-028 in patients with advanced melanoma.
“We are fortunate to work with some of the world’s leading health care institutions focused on treating melanoma and we look forward to the commencement of this study.”
MORAb-028 is a fully human recombinant IgM-type antibody. Pre-clinical pharmacology studies suggest that MORAb-028 binds to GD2, a cell surface ganglioside that is expressed on cells associated with melanoma, small cell lung carcinoma and a subset of other cancer types. There is pre-clinical scientific evidence suggesting that targeting GD2 using antibodies may suppress tumor growth. In 2004, Morphotek licensed technology relating to MORAb-028 from Micromet, Inc.
“Based on our pre-clinical pharmacology studies, MORAb-028 will first be evaluated in patients with advanced melanoma,” said Martin D. Phillips, M.D., Morphotek’s Chief Medical Officer. “We are fortunate to work with some of the world’s leading health care institutions focused on treating melanoma and we look forward to the commencement of this study.”
“MORAb-028 represents another one of several antibodies being researched and developed by Morphotek that directly or indirectly targets pathways associated with certain cancers. Our strategy of using collaborations with academic and other biotechnology companies provides us opportunities to develop novel medicines that target disease-specific pathways,” said Nicholas Nicolaides, President and CEO of Morphotek. “MORAb-028 offers Morphotek and Eisai a unique platform technology utilizing IgM-type antibodies.”