Morphotek and The Wistar Institute Announce Collaborative

Morphotek and The Wistar Institute Announce Collaborative

February 4, 2002

(PHILADELPHIA - February 5, 2002) - Morphotek, Inc. and The Wistar Institute today entered into a collaborative research and development agreement to develop improved monoclonal antibodies. Under the terms of the agreement, Morphotek will apply its patented MORPHODOMAâ„¢ technology to Wistar hybridoma cell lines in order to create second-generation hybridomas that produce monoclonal antibodies with greater utility for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases.

This technology can create more potent monoclonal antibodies in two ways: by generating monoclonal antibodies with greater affinity to antigen and by increasing monoclonal antibody production. Wistar and Morphotek will jointly own the second-generation hybridomas produced under the agreement. "Morphotek is extremely pleased to have The Wistar Institute as a partner in our research," says Nicholas C. Nicolaides, Ph.D., president, CEO, and chief scientific officer of Morphotek. "Application of our MORPHODOMAâ„¢ technology to Wistar's monoclonal antibodies will enable us to produce improved monoclonal antibodies against tumor antigens and other therapeutically valuable targets."

"This collaboration with Morphotek is an excellent opportunity for Wistar to add value to our portfolio of monoclonal antibodies," says Meryle J. Melnicoff, Ph.D., director of business development for The Wistar Institute. "Monoclonal antibodies that were developed at Wistar are currently used worldwide for the research, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of conditions, including cancer and autoimmune and infectious diseases." "This is the first of a number of collaborative partnerships that we expect to announce over the upcoming year that focuses on the use of our in vivo process to enhance the activity of antibodies as well as the production levels by hybridoma cell lines for commercial development," adds Philip M. Sass, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer of Morphotek.

Morphotek ( is a biotechnology company focused on the generation of proprietary organisms for product development using a patented platform technology that can enhance the natural process of genetic evolution within a targeted host. The technology has been successfully applied to microbes, plants, and mammals to yield genetically diverse offspring that are suitable for agricultural and pharmaceutical product development in the areas of antibody therapeutics, protein therapeutics, product manufacturing, drug target discovery, and improved output traits for commercial applications.

The Wistar Institute ( is an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution dedicated to discovering the causes and cures for major diseases, including cancer, AIDS, autoimmune disorders, and other illnesses. The first institution of its kind in the nation, Wistar is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center - one of only eight focused on basic research.