Morphotek announced today that it has signed a sponsored research agreement with the University of Pennsylvania for tumor-related research.

The Exton-based biopharmaceutical company, which is a subsidiary of Eisai Corp. of North America, did not announce terms.

The research will be to find a way to counteract the loss of oxygen in tumors, which leads to increased resistance of tumors to radiation and chemotherapy drugs.

Morphotek, which was founded in 2000, discovers and develops human monoclonal antibodies for cancer and inflammatory and infectious diseases.

Wafik S. El-Deiry, professor of medicine, genetics and pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will head the team conducting the research.