MorphoSys and Daiichi Sankyo Forge Alliance to Develop Novel Antibody Therapies against Hospital-Acquired Infections
MorphoSys Secures First Therapeutic Alliance Focused on Infectious Diseases
MorphoSys AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: MOR; Prime Standard Segment) announced today the formation of a new alliance with DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY, LIMITED (TSE: 4568) in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies for hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections. Daiichi Sankyo becomes MorphoSys’s first collaborator for HuCAL PLATINUM®-based drug discovery in infectious diseases.
“This is another landmark deal for MorphoSys and is our first initiative in the infectious disease arena,” commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG. “Today’s news is proof that MorphoSys can tap new growth opportunities in the therapeutic antibody field on top of the established partnerships the Company has in place. We see lucrative opportunities for our new HuCAL Platinum technology in the infectious disease field, which we intend to exploit within selected partnerships in the years ahead.”
Under the terms of the agreement, MorphoSys and Daiichi Sankyo will collaboratively apply HuCAL PLATINUM, the latest and most powerful version of MorphoSys’s antibody libraries. The companies will jointly apply established as well as novel approaches to generate optimized, fully human therapeutic antibodies against targets associated with nosocomial infections. Daiichi Sankyo will also commit to funding the development of certain infectious disease specific technology at MorphoSys, which will be used to identify the most effective antibody-based drugs.
Total payments under the agreement include committed license fees and R&D funding in addition to success-based development milestones. MorphoSys also stands to receive royalties on sales of marketed drugs emerging from the collaboration.
There is a large, unmet need for effective, long-lasting drugs against pathogens in difficult to treat nosocomial infections. Current mortality rates in the specific area of focus are reported as 40%-60%, due primarily to resistance to existing antibiotics. The global market for such drugs targeted solely at blood stream infections and hospital acquired pneumonia is estimated to exceed $1 billion.
MorphoSys and Daiichi Sankyo started working together in 2006 in a collaboration that has resulted to date in four active therapeutic antibody programs mainly in oncology. The new agreement is built on the strong existing relationship between the partners.
MorphoSys is an independent biotechnology company that develops novel antibodies for therapeutic, diagnostic and research applications. The Company’s HuCAL technology is one of the most powerful methods available for generating fully human antibodies. By successfully applying this and other proprietary technologies, MorphoSys has become a leader in the field of therapeutic antibodies, one of the fastest-growing drug classes in human health-care. Through its alliances with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, MorphoSys has created a pipeline of more than 60 drug candidates. The Company is expanding its drug pipeline by adding new partnered programs, and by building a portfolio of fully-owned therapeutic antibodies. For its proprietary portfolio, the Company is focused on the areas of oncology and inflammation, within which it plans to have eight active programs by the end of 2009. Its most advanced program is MOR103, a first-in-class, fully human antibody against GM-CSF. MorphoSys expects to commence a Phase Ib/IIa trial of this antibody in rheumatoid arthritis patients in the second half of 2009. Via its business unit AbD Serotec, MorphoSys is expanding the reach of its technologies in the diagnostics and research markets. MorphoSys is headquartered in Munich, Germany and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol “MOR”. For further information, visit http://www.morphosys.com/
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM® and RapMAT® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG
About DAIICHI SANKYO
DAIICHI SANKYO is a global pharmaceutical company that focuses on researching and marketing innovative medications. The company was created in 2005 through the merger of two traditional Japanese enterprises, Daiichi and Sankyo. With net sales of nearly 5.9 billion € in fiscal year 2008, DAIICHI SANKYO is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. The company’s world headquarters is in Tokyo, and its European base is located in Munich. DAIICHI SANKYO has affiliates in 12 European countries and has been one of the strongest Japanese pharmaceutical companies located in Europe since it set up European production facilities and marketing offices in 1990. The company’s research activities focus on the areas of cardiovascular diseases, hematology, diabetes, anti-infectives and cancer. Its aim is to develop medications that are “best” in their class or to create new classes of pharmaceutical drugs. For more information, please visit: www.daiichi-sankyo.eu.
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the MorphoSys group of companies. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment of MorphoSys as of the date of this release and involve risks and uncertainties. Should actual conditions differ from the Company’s assumptions, actual results and actions may differ from those anticipated. MorphoSys does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements as far as the wording of the relevant press release is concerned.
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