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GEN News Highlights : Oct 3, 2007

Morphotek Receives $2.7M to Optimize mAbs against a Biowarfare Agent

NIAID grant will be used to find therapeutics that suppress toxic effects of Staphylococcal enterotoxin B.

Morphotek received $2.7M from the NIAID to develop mAbs against Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). The funding will support preclinical work on fully human mAbs that can neutralize the toxic effects of SEB in vivo.

The goal is to demonstrate proof-of-concept in clinical trials, according to the company. Morphotek will use its human Morphodoma® technology to optimize existing anti-SEB lead mAbs and then advance these into proof-of-concept studies.

The work will be conducted in collaboration with Sina Bavari, Ph.D., of the USAMRIID. Dr. Bavari has been developing systems to discover and validate therapeutics that treat humans exposed to toxic levels of SEB. Dr. Bavari’s team will evaluate and validate optimized mAbs generated by Morphotek.