Eisai subsidiary Morphotek has partnered with Blaze Bioscience for the development of potential tumor-targeting chlorotoxin derivative linked to a near-infrared diagnostic agent to help visualize cancer cells during surgery.
Under the agreement, Morphotek received an undisclosed upfront payment from Blaze, with the potential for additional milestone payments. Blaze will be responsible for developing, licensing and, once approved, commercializing the derivative.
The derivative originally was isolated from scorpion venom. The chlorotoxin peptide was pursued based on its ability to bind and suppress growth of activated epithelial cells.
Morphotek maintains the rights to develop chlorotoxin derivative products not covered by the agreement. — Michael Cipriano