Morphotek acquires TMI's scorpion venom platform

Biotech company Morphotek apparently thought the peptide platform developed by fellow Pennsylvania company TransMolecular had just the right sting against tumors for Morphotek to acquire assets relating to the drug-delivery technology. The tumor-targeting peptide (TTP) platform in question was originally isolated from scorpion venom.

The platform is capable of delivering radionucleotides, chemotoxins, nanoparticles and optical dyes to tumor cells. Morphotek is a subsidiary of Japan-based Eisai, which is looking to expand its access to new technologies like those developed at TransMolecular.

"While we are enthusiastic about the current technologies being utilized throughout our Eisai Product Creation Systems (EPCS) network to support our near-term pipeline goals," Eisai's Hideki Hayashi said in a news release, "our strategy is to continue to pursue access to new cutting-edge technologies that will enable us to further support our current and future pipeline objectives as we strive to develop highly innovative medicines to address the needs of patients with serious illnesses. The acquisition of the TMI tumor targeting platform is yet another step in our evolution to become a leader in developing disease-specific compounds that can target disease cells and/or treat the underlying cause of a targeted disease."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

- read the Morphotek release

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