Clinical trials began March 2nd to study and evaluate the effectiveness of an antibody to impede the growth of mesothelin, a protein excessively created in tumors present in mesothelioma patients

Charlotte, North Carolina (MesotheliomaCancerNews.com) — Clinical trials began March 2nd to study and evaluate the effectiveness of an antibody to impede the growth of mesothelin, a protein excessively created in tumors present in mesothelioma patients.

According to an Asbestos.com report, “Morphotek, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company and subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, initiated Phase II of the study of its MORAb-009 monoclonal antibody to assess the capabilities of the drug in collaboration with the chemotherapy drugs pemetrexed and cisplatin to sustain progression-free survival for patients with locally advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma.”

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma and develops in the lining of the lungs. Overall, mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that progresses in the cells that line many organs and body cavities, and is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. A cure for the cancer does not currently exist.

“We are excited to have initiated this Phase II study of MORAb-009 in mesothelioma in cooperation with leading physician-scientists,” Chief Medical Officer of Morphotek Martin D. Phillips, M.D. said.

Phillips explained that although mesothelioma usually carries a poor prognosis, Morphotek’s goal for MORAb-009 is that it will eventually provide relief and hope to mesothelioma patients.

By design, MORAb-009 blocks the function of mesothelin, which has been found to increase growth and metastasis of mesothelioma tumors.

Preclinical data has indicated that the drug “will first block mesothelin’s ability to interact with its target and also stimulate the patient’s immune system to attack the tumor by destroying those cells bound by MORAb-009.”

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