MorphoSys Expands Japanese Alliance with GeneFrontier
01/25/2007 MorphoSys AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) today announced an expansion of its existing marketing alliance with its Tokyo-based partner GeneFrontier Corporation. The expanded collaboration now also covers the generation of HuCAL-derived fully human antibodies for proteome research and target validation together with a renowned Japanese research organization as well as commercialization of resulting antibody products. Under the terms of the agreement, GeneFrontier will utilize MorphoSys’s HuCAL GOLD antibody library to generate novel HuCAL antibodies against targets provided by its collaboration partner. For this purpose, the HuCAL antibody technology was installed at GeneFrontier’s research laboratories within a research facility in Tokyo. GeneFrontier will provide MorphoSys with financial compensation for access to the HuCAL technology. GeneFrontier and MorphoSys agreed to share commercialization rights for all antibodies discovered in this project against targets identified and validated by GeneFrontier with its partner. Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
“GeneFrontier, as a local Japanese partner, is uniquely placed to target specific areas of the life science market, which would be not accessible for a foreign company. The logic behind this deal is in many respects the same as the research collaborations we have with other leading institutes, such as the recently announced alliance with The Burnham Institute,” commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG. “Collaborating with GeneFrontier as a local partner in Japan has paid off for MorphoSys. In the past 16 months, they have helped us secure significant contracts with the pharmaceutical companies Daiichi Sankyo and Shionogi, as well as new customers and research relationships for AbD Serotec.”
“We are excited at this opportunity to expand our alliance with MorphoSys to apply the HuCAL technology to a number of our ongoing research programs with our partner,” commented Makoto Ogasawara, President & CEO of GeneFrontier Corporation. “This state-of-the-art technology will significantly accelerate the target validation process, and lead to the rapid discovery of novel therapeutics.”
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: http://www.morphosys.com/.
GeneFrontier was established in 2003 as an innovative solution provider for genomic drug research & development. GeneFrontier has the strength and wealth of experience of its three founding shareholders; the business creation expertise and broad network of ITX CORPORATION, the biotechnology and extensive clinical laboratory experience of BML and the bioinformatics technology and know-how of INFOCOM. GeneFrontier’s expertise lies in the fast introduction of state-of-the-art technologies into the Japanese biotech research and drug-discovery markets, i.e. monoclonal antibodies, microarrays, and many other innovative technologies from all over the world. GeneFrontier also develops its own drug pipeline utilizing these technologies in order to contribute to the improvement of Quality of Life. For further information please visit the corporate website at: http://www.genefrontier.com/
Statements included in this press release which are not historical in nature are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the safe harbour provided by Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words including “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “expects” and similar expressions. The company cautions readers that forward-looking statements, including without limitation those relating to the company’s future operations and business prospects, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Factors that may affect future operations and business prospects include, but are not limited to, clinical and scientific results and developments concerning corporate collaborations and the company’s proprietary rights and other factors described in the prospectus relating to the company’s recent public offering.
HuCAL® and HuCAL GOLD® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG
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