Eisai Inc. and Morphotek®, Inc. announced today that the Medical Ethical Review Committee and Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects of the Netherlands cleared its Clinical Trial Application to test the investigational new drug MORAb-022 in a Phase I clinical trial that will include both normal healthy volunteers and subjects diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

MORAb-022 is a fully-human antibody developed using Morphotek’s proprietary Human MORPHODOMA® technology. In-vitro studies have shown that the antibody targets a protein associated with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

“Our collaboration with the Frontier Unit for the development of MORAb-022 represents how Eisai’s new Product Creation System is working to leverage internal resources and expertise for the development of new agents that may help further our human health care (hhc) mission,” said Nicholas Nicolaides, President and Chief Executive Officer, Morphotek, Inc. “In this collaboration, Morphotek is providing its preclinical and human antibody development expertise while the Frontier Unit is applying its drug development expertise in inflammatory disease to design and carry out clinical studies.”

[Source: Company Press Release]