Eisai Breaks Ground for New Morphotek Pilot Plant
Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President and CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that its U.S. subsidiary, Morphotek®, Inc. (Headquarters: Pennsylvania, United States, President and CEO: Nicholas Nicolaides, “Morphotek”), broke ground for a new pilot manufacturing plant for the production of biologics to be used in preclinical and clinical trials (phases I and II) in an official ceremony that took place on March 8 (U.S. Eastern Standard Time).
The new single-storey, 60,000-square-foot (approximately 5,574 square meters) pilot plant will be constructed on a site adjacent to the existing Morphotek headquarters building. The facility is being established to strengthen Eisai's product creation activities through the in-house production of biologics, which will in turn support the continuous clinical introduction of the companys new antibody therapies. Upon completion of the new facility, Eisai, who previously outsourced the production to external contract manufacturing organisations, will be able to carry out its product creation activities more efficiently by manufacturing biologics in-house. Eisai will invest about $80 million in this new facility, which is scheduled for completion around the middle of 2011. Full operations are expected to begin by the end of 2012.
Morphotek specialises in the research and development of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer, infectious and immunological/inflammatory diseases through the use of its proprietary human antibody technologies and active engagement in collaborative research partnerships. The company is currently undertaking development programs of a number of promising antibodies for the treatment of various kinds of cancer, infectious and immunological/inflammatory diseases, including farletuzumab (MORAb-003), which is in Phase III clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe for the treatment of ovarian cancer, and MORAb-009, now in Phase II clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe for mesothelioma.
Eisai focuses its efforts on the global discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies in addition to low-molecular compounds. With the new pilot plant, Eisai aims to shorten development time by building a more efficient system for product development, thereby ensuring the timely delivery of therapeutic antibody products that address the unmet medical needs of patients and their families.
[ Please see the following page for a rendering of the pilot plant ]
Public Relations Department
Eisai Co., Ltd.
< Notes to Editors >
Rendering of the New Pilot Manufacturing Plant for Biologics Production