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Morphotek Receives U.S. Patent Regarding Methods for Generating Genetically Altered Antibodies with Enhanced Affinity and Antibodies Produced by Them

Monday, November 19, 2007

Exton, PA -- Morphotek, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd. announced today the issuance of United States Patent No. 7,235,643 B2 (the "643" patent). The patent relates to certain methods of enhancing the affinity of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). It illustrates the company's MORPHODOMA® technology, a whole genome evolution platform that can enhance cells producing mAbs to yield daughter cells producing antibodies with enhanced pharmacologic activity. MORPHODOMA® technology enhances evolution within cells through the reversible regulation of the mismatch repair (MMR) pathway, a highly conserved process employed by all living organisms to repair mutations that naturally occur during DNA replication.

Dr. Philip Sass, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Morphotek, commented, "This patent further strengthens Morphotek's competitive advantage in the field of antibody discovery and development. The use of our MORPHODOMA® technology enables our researchers to generate high affinity antibodies from lead target-specific antibodies with low affinity. This platform allows for the rapid and efficient optimization of antibodies for clinical development and proof-of-concept evaluation for use in treating disease."

Morphotek has developed a patent estate comprised of more than 50 issued patents and filed patent applications worldwide. Many of the patents relate to the regulation of MMR in single-celled organisms such as bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells, as well as in more complex multicellular organisms such as rodents and plants. The company is employing this technology to discover and develop novel proteins and antibodies for treating cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases.

About Morphotek

Morphotek®, Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., 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 Co., Ltd.

Eisai Co., Ltd. is a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three areas of therapeutic focus: Integrative neuroscience including neurology and psychiatric medicines; gastrointestinal disorders; and integrative oncology including oncotherapy and supportive-care treatments. Through a global network of research facilities, manufacturing sites and marketing subsidiaries, Eisai actively participates in all aspects of the worldwide health care system. Eisai employs more than 9,000 people worldwide and reported worldwide sales of Yen 674.1 billion in FY2006 (year ended March 31, 2007). More than 50 percent of the group sales are derived from overseas business. For more information, please visit

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