Morphotek Inc., a biopharmaceutical company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan-based Eisai Co., Ltd., opened its new $80 million manufacturing plant for the production of biological-based therapeutics to support its early-stage clinical trials in Exton, Pennsylvania.
The firm said production will begin in late 2012 and manufacturing in 2013. It has already hired about two dozen employees and expects "additional jobs to be created in the near future" at its 60,000 square foot plant, located at 210 Welsh Pool Road in Exton, a city of almost 5,000 residents west of Philadelphia.
"With the opening of our state-of-the-art pilot plant we now have the capability to produce our therapeutic antibodies much more efficiently and faster than we were capable of previously when we had to outsource their manufacture," said Philip M. Sass, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "The facility is designed and equipped to produce multiple biologics simultaneously and will enable us to initiate more Phase I studies to test the safety and efficacy of our lead antibodies than we could previously."
Morphotek has a number of monoclonal antibodies in clinical development including a Phase III monoclonal antibodies for ovarian cancer; Phase II antibodies for mesothelioma; and another in Phase II clinical trials being developed to treat a broad array of solid tumors.
The US Food and Drug Administration designated two cancer drugs the firm is developing for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma and pancreatic cancer as part of its Orphan Drug group, making it eligible for tax credits and protection of its patented discoveries. The company has also been awarded state Opportunity Grants by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to support the growth of its technology and infrastructure.??