Woodcliff Lake, NJ, April 17, 2007 – Eisai Corporation of North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., today announces the completion of Eisai’s acquisition of Morphotek®, Inc. for US$325 million after excess net cash. The companies received notice that the 30-day waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 was terminated early by the Federal Trade Commission.
Morphotek develops therapeutic monoclonal antibodies through the use of its proprietary human antibody technologies, Human MORPHODOMA®and LibradomaTM. The company is leveraging these technologies to enrich its pipeline that currently includes therapeutic antibody leads for the treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and infectious disease. Two of its programs are currently in early stage clinical trials for the treatment of ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer, respectively, with several others in preclinical development.
Morphotek joins Eisai’s growing global discovery and development research network, which is comprised of research laboratories in Japan, Europe and the U.S. Eisai currently has an extensive global oncology research program for discovering small molecule anti-cancer agents and, with this acquisition, expands its capabilities into the biologic therapeutics field. In addition, Eisai will further pursue the development of novel therapies that can address a variety of medical needs of cancer patients through the development of therapeutic antibodies, small-molecule anti-cancer drugs and potential combinations of both.
Per Eisai’s 5th mid-term global business plan, the “Dramatic Leap Plan,” this expansion of Eisai’s discovery, research and clinical capabilities complements the company’s establishment of its oncology sales and marketing operations in the U.S. Aided in part through its recent acquisition of four oncology-related products in October 2006, Eisai has developed its commercial oncology infrastructure and is well positioned to market new oncology products that originate from Eisai’s research and discovery efforts or through future acquisition, co-promotion or in-licensing opportunities. Currently, Eisai has several global drugs in development for the potential treatment of patients with cancer, including compounds for breast cancer, soft-tissue sarcoma, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer, among others.
Morphotek, based in Exton, Pennsylvania, will continue to be led by its existing management, which is headed by Dr. Nicholas Nicolaides, President.
About Eisai Corporation of North America
Eisai Corporation of North America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd. and supports the activities of its operating companies in North America. These operating companies include: Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc., a discovery operation with strong organic chemistry capabilities; Eisai Medical Research Inc. for clinical development; Eisai Inc. for manufacturing and marketing/sales functions; and Eisai Machinery U.S.A. for marketing and maintenance of pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery.
Morphotek®, a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2000 and located in Exton, Pennsylvania, employs 45 people and discovers and develops monoclonal antibodies for oncology, inflammatory and infectious diseases through the use of a proprietary human antibody technology called Human MORPHODOMA®. The company has assembled a strong pipeline of lead products in the area of cancer, inflammation and infectious diseases. Morphotek’s most advanced programs are MORAb-003, in Phase I/II for ovarian cancer, and MORAb-009, in Phase I for pancreatic cancer. There are several programs in preclinical stage moving towards IND filing. For further information, visit www.morphotek.com.