- For Print
- October 4, 2016
Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that its research subsidiary Morphotek, Inc. (Headquarters: Pennsylvania, United States, President and CEO: Nicholas Nicolaides, “Morphotek”) has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Eurofarma Laboratórios S.A. (Headquarters: São Paulo, Brazil, President: Maurizio Billi, “Eurofarma”) to develop and commercialize the monoclonal antibody farletuzumab (development code: MORAb-003) as a potential anticancer agent in Latin America.
Under the terms of the agreement, Morphotek will receive from Eurofarma an upfront payment as well as scheduled development and sales milestone payments. Additionally, Morphotek will receive royalties from commercial sales of farletuzumab in Latin America. Morphotek will supply Eurofarma with clinical and commercial materials while Eurofarma has the option to assume responsibility for filling and packaging farletuzumab vials. Morphotek retains all rights to develop and commercialize farletuzumab in regions outside of Latin America.
Discovered by Morphotek, farletuzumab is an investigational, humanized, monoclonal antibody that binds to folate receptor alpha (FRA), which is reported to be highly expressed on ovarian and several other epithelial cancer cells, but mostly absent from normal tissue. Farletuzumab is currently being studied in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase Ⅱ clinical study in first-relapsed, platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients with low levels of the CA-125 tumor antigen, a biomarker for ovarian cancer. The study is designed to investigate the efficacy and safety of farletuzumab in combination with standard chemotherapy.
Eisai positions oncology as a key therapeutic area, and is aiming to discover revolutionary new medicines with the potential to cure cancer. Through this collaboration, Eisai hopes to accelerate development and maximize the value of farletuzumab as it seeks to contribute further to addressing the diverse needs of, and increasing the benefits provided to, patients with cancer, their families, and healthcare providers.
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
< Notes to editors >
1. About farletuzumab (generic name, development code: MORAb-003)
Farletuzumab is a humanized, IgG1 monoclonal antibody that binds to the folate receptor-alpha (FRA), a folate-binding protein that is reported to be highly expressed on ovarian and several other epithelial cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies are a type of immunotherapy used to treat cancer that are manmade versions of immune system proteins and can be designed to attack a specific part of a cancer cell. Immunotherapy drugs offer a method of treatment distinct from chemotherapy.
2. About Eurofarma Laboratórios S.A. (Eurofarma)
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.