Morphotek turns to manufacturing with new plant

Eisai subsidiary Morphotek added a new title to its mission statement this week: manufacturer. On Tuesday, the biotech opened a 60,000-square-foot plant in Exton, PA, to produce therapeutics for its early-stage clinical work.

With an $80 million price tag, the environmentally engineered plant gives Morphotek the capability to make its products in-house, rather than turning to outside manufacturers, according to a company statement. When it begins operations later this year, the plant will keep Morphotek's costs low and productivity high, expediting the time it takes to produce drugs and begin the testing process, Chester County's Daily Local News explained.

"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," said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Philip Sass, in a statement.

As Pennsylvania's biotech industry emerges from the slump it suffered during the recession, Morphotek expects to add up to 100 new jobs in the next few years, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The biotech already hired 23 new employees to support the plant's launch.

Morphotek's pipeline includes monoclonal antibodies to combat solid tumors, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Eisai bought Morphotek for $325 million in 2007.

- here is the press release
- check out a story from the Philadelphia Business Journal           
- read this article in the Daily Local News

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