Medication Monitor

Generic Name (Trade Name—Company)
November 15, 2012


(No trade name—Morphotek)
Investigational cancer drug granted orphan status


Treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma

Morphotek announced that FDA has granted orphan drug designation to its investigational cancer drug amatuximab (MORAb-009) for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Amatuximab is an investigational chimeric immunoglobulin G1 antibody that targets mesothelin, a cell surface glycoprotein which is over-expressed in a number of cancers. Morphotek noted that mesothelin is thought to be involved in cell adhesion and that its presence has been associated with a wide range of cancers such as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, mesothelioma, epithelial ovarian cancer, and lung adenocarcinoma.