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Press Release

Morphotek Announces Sponsored Research Agreement With Fox Chase Cancer Center To Study Immunosuppressive Effects Of Tumor Shed Antigens To Improve Future Patient Therapies

Posted on: 13 Sep 16

PR Newswire

EXTON, Pa., Sept. 13, 2016

EXTON, Pa., Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., announced today that it entered into a Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) with Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) to expand its research efforts into the immunosuppressive effects elicited by tumor shed antigens on the efficacy of immune-based therapies.

The collaboration will utilize primary human organoid cultures derived from various cancer types using optimized assays developed by ongoing research in the laboratory of Dr. Wafik El-Deiry, Deputy Cancer Center Director, Translational Research Program and Co-Leader, Molecular Therapeutics Program at FCCC.  The research will focus on expanding knowledge of the biological pathways involved in suppressing patients' immune responses to tumors prior to and during immune-based therapeutic exposure.  These efforts aim to identify tumor molecular and cellular signatures that can aid in identifying patients who may respond to immune-based therapies, including monoclonal antibodies targeting specific tumor cell surface antigens.

"We are excited to enter into this collaboration with researchers at FCCC in this innovative field of applying primary human organoids to the study of tumor-mediated immune suppression," stated Luigi Grasso, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Morphotek. "We continue to expand our efforts to understand the mechanisms by which tumors evolve in order to evade immune surveillance, which may enable us to develop novel therapeutic agents and innovative clinical designs to overcome these mechanisms and aid patients with various cancer types."

Dr. El-Deiry commented, "This is an exciting scientific partnership.  Organoid cultures are emerging quickly as a useful tool in predicting drug activity for precision medicine.  Combined with 3-D tumor cultures, they can model a specific patient's tumor characteristics and biological behavior in terms of treatment sensitivity and resistance."

About Morphotek

Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of a novel and proprietary gene evolution technology.  The technology has been successfully applied to a broad variety of cell lines and organisms to yield genetically diverse offspring that are suitable for pharmaceutical product development in the areas of antibody therapeutics, protein therapeutics, product manufacturing, drug target discovery, and improved output traits for commercial applications.  The company is currently focusing its platform on the development and manufacturing of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and infectious disease.  For more information, please visit

About Eisai Inc.

At Eisai Inc., human health care (hhc) is our goal. We give our first thought to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., we have a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind our efforts to discover and develop innovative therapies to help address unmet medical needs.

Eisai is a fully integrated pharmaceutical business that operates in two global business groups: oncology and neurology (dementia-related diseases and neurodegenerative diseases). Each group functions as an end-to-end global business with discovery, development, and marketing capabilities. Our U.S. headquarters, commercial and clinical development organizations are located in New Jersey; our discovery labs are in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania; and our global demand chain organization resides in Maryland and North Carolina. To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Fox Chase Cancer Center

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively "Fox Chase Cancer Center"), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States.  Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation's first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974.  Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes.  Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center's nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times.  Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).


Investor Inquiries:                                 

Media Inquiries:

Rod Dausch                                          

Diana Martens

Morphotek, Inc.         

Morphotek, Inc.



Fox Chase Media Contact:

Amy Merves


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SOURCE Morphotek, Inc.

PR Newswire

Last updated on: 13/09/2016

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