September 25, 2008

Morphotek(R), Inc. And Pivotal BioSciences Announce Agreement for the Development of Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies

Morphotek(R), Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, and Pivotal BioSciences, Inc., a privately held Los Angeles-based biotechnology company developing oncology products, today announced they have entered into an agreement in which Morphotek will access Pivotal BioSciences' LEC platform technology, developed by Dr. Alan Epstein, M.D., Ph.D, for the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. The technology enhances the human immune system's ability to produce an effective anti-tumor response.

The agreement with Pivotal BioSciences provides that Morphotek will evaluate the LEC technology in-house and have the right to exercise an option for a license. Should Morphotek choose to exercise its option, Morphotek would obtain a worldwide license under Pivotal's LEC technology to develop new therapeutic products, and would retain the responsibility for the commercialization of such products derived using the technology.

"We are delighted to be working with Pivotal BioSciences in this effort," said Nicholas Nicolaides, Ph.D, President and CEO of Morphotek. "This collaboration further illustrates our commitment to discover, develop and commercialize efficacious monoclonal antibodies to address unmet diseases. We are extremely honored to be Pivotal BioSciences' first partner for the research and development of therapeutic antibodies."

"We are very pleased that Morphotek views the LEC platform as a potentially robust technology," said Dimitri Villard, President and CEO of Pivotal BioSciences. "We believe this agreement will provide yet another validation of our proprietary approach. We anticipate a highly productive collaboration with Morphotek, one that will help Morphotek to significantly broaden its antibody pipeline."

About Pivotal BioSciences

Pivotal BioSciences, Inc. is a privately-held spin-out of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine that is focused on developing novel therapeutics for cancer. In addition to its LEC platform technology, Pivotal BioSciences has developed its own fusion protein utilizing the technology. For more information, please visit

About Morphotek

Morphotek(R), Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, 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 Corporation of North America

Eisai Corporation of North America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. Eisai Corporation of North America supports the activities of its operating companies in North America, which include: Eisai Research Institute of Boston, Inc., a discovery operation with strong organic chemistry capabilities; Morphotek, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; Eisai Medical Research Inc., a clinical development group; Eisai Inc., a commercial operation with manufacturing and marketing/sales functions; and Eisai Machinery U.S.A., which markets and maintains pharmaceutical manufacturing machinery. For more information about Eisai, please visit