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MorphoSys Presents New RapMAT(TM) Antibody Technology


12/11/2006 - MorphoSys AG (Frankfurt: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) announced today the successful completion of their novel RapMAT(TM) technology for faster antibody optimization. RapMATTM, which stands for “rapid maturation”, improves the options for identifying antibodies from the HuCAL GOLD library and reduces the time for generation of promising lead molecules. The new technology has the potential to further improve MorphoSys’s antibody engineering process in both of its business segments. The technology will be presented at the 17th IBC Antibody Engineering conference in San Diego, California.

In comparison to standard procedures, RapMAT(TM) increases the diversity of antibodies at an early stage through a round of optimization carried out during the first selection steps, ultimately leading to selection of antibodies that have shown an up to 40-fold increased affinity for their target molecule. The new system is completely compatible with the HuCAL GOLD antibody library, which is the most up-to-date version of MorphoSys’s core technology, and uses its key advantages of modular configuration of all highly variable regions of the antibody genes. All the resulting antibodies retain a fully human composition.

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in our comprehensive initiative to further develop our antibody technologies. The new RapMAT(TM) technology platform leads to high-affinity antibody molecules even faster, directly from the first selection steps. It builds on the proven strengths of the HuCAL GOLD library and the combination of technologies leads to an even more attractive product”, explains Dr. Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer at MorphoSys AG. “With the new system we are also further approaching the natural conditions for antibody maturation in humans, which is a central mechanism of the immune system.”

The first presentation of the new RapMAT(TM) technology took place on December 10th, at the first official HuCAL GOLD User Meeting in the run-up to the international IBC Antibody Engineering Conference in San Diego, USA. The goal of the HuCAL GOLD User Meeting is to promote an open exchange of knowledge between MorphoSys and its partner companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, with the aim of further enhancing the partners’ capabilities in the utilization of MorphoSys’s antibody technologies at their premises. HuCAL GOLD and related antibody technologies are currently used under commercial partnerships at 22 research sites of partner companies for research and development of new therapeutic compounds.

“We are introducing a user meeting to further intensify the knowledge and experience exchange with our customers,” Dr. Marlies Sproll continues. “We are very pleased with the high acceptance rate by our partners and hope that this event will lead to an even more efficient use of HuCAL GOLD and related technologies.”

About MorphoSys:
MorphoSys develops and applies innovative technologies for the production of synthetic antibodies, which accelerate drug discovery and target characterization. Founded in 1992, the Company’s proprietary Human Combinatorial Antibody Library (HuCAL) technology is used by researchers worldwide for human antibody generation. The Company currently has licensing agreements and/or research collaborations with Bayer (USA), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany), Bristol-Myers Squibb (USA), Centocor Inc. (USA), Daiichi Sankyo & Co., Ltd. (Japan), GPC Biotech AG (Germany), Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Switzerland), ImmunoGen Inc. (USA), Merck & Co., Inc. (USA), Novartis AG (Switzerland), Novoplant GmbH (Germany), OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (USA), Pfizer Inc. (USA), ProChon Biotech Ltd. (Israel), Schering AG (Germany), Schering-Plough (USA), Shionogi & Co., Ltd. (Japan), Xoma Ltd. (USA) and others. Additionally, MorphoSys is active in the antibody research market through its AbD Serotec business unit. The business unit was founded in 2003 for the purpose of exploiting the MorphoSys non-therapeutic antibody markets. MorphoSys’ activities in the research antibody segment were significantly strengthened through the acquisition of the U.K. and U.S.-based Biogenesis Group in January 2005 and Serotec Group in 2006. For further information please visit the corporate website at:

About RapMAT:
RapMAT(TM) represents an in-built affinity maturation process for the rapid selection of high affinity antibodies. Basis for this technology is the modular concept of MorphoSys’s HuCAL technology. In the HuCAL libraries complementarity-determining regions (CDRs), which define the binding site of the antibody and thus its capabilities to bind a specific target molecule, can easily be exchanged in a simple cloning step. Using RapMAT(TM), the uncharacterized polyclonal output after two rounds of standard selection is used and diversity is increased by insertion of a pre-built CDR cassette library. This is in contrast to HuCAL’s standard maturation process, where individual antibody candidates are selected and matured by subsequent CDR exchange. Subsequently two further selection rounds are applied under high stringency conditions to select for high affinity. This ultimately leads to the direct selection of antibodies that have shown an up to 40-fold increased affinity for their target molecule. All resulting antibodies retain a fully human composition. For further information please visit

HuCAL® and HuCAL GOLD® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG


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