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AbD Serotec and FIND Sign Agreement to Develop Temperature Stable Antibodies for In Vitro Diagnostics


MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) announced today that its research and diagnostic antibody segment AbD Serotec has initiated a research collaboration with FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics), a Swiss foundation that develops, evaluates and accelerates the implementation of new diagnostic tools for poverty-related diseases such as TB, malaria and sleeping sickness. The goal of the research alliance is to establish a series of heat-stable HuCAL-based antibodies as key components of novel diagnostic tests that are robust in tropical climates. Using MorphoSys’s proprietary HuCAL technology, AbD Serotec will identify heat-stable fully human antibodies specific for rapid diagnostic test applications for parasite detection. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Currently, rapid diagnostic test applications can allow detection of parasite antigens in a finger prick blood sample. However, most commercial diagnostic tests are developed for storage and use at 25-30ºC. High disease burden countries usually have higher ambient temperatures, which can lead to test degradation especially when taking into account the need for delivery to relatively remote locations in the developing world. Thus, temperature stability and prolonged shelf-life of diagnostic kits are critical factors for improving infectious disease control.

Under the terms of the agreement, FIND receives the rights for the commercial use of heat-stable HuCAL-derived antibodies for in vitro diagnostics. AbD Serotec will participate in sales of diagnostic tests using such antibodies in industrialized countries. If concluded successfully, the collaboration could be expanded to cover other disease areas of relevance for FIND’s objectives.

“Partnerships such as this, that bring together the private and public sectors, provide synergies which allow knowledge of diseases in their endemic settings to directly influence the selection and development of appropriate technologies for poverty-related diseases,” says Dr Giorgio Roscigno, FIND CEO. “We are very excited by our collaboration with AbD Serotec and the potential of introducing cutting-edge technologies in high disease burden countries. This can only lead to a more rapid impact on disease management in the field, where conditions are the most problematic. Although FIND is currently focused on diagnostic platforms for TB, malaria and sleeping sickness, numerous other infectious diseases may be diagnosed in the future using the same technological platforms.”

“We are very pleased to be able to establish a co-operation with FIND for the development of antibodies enabling the diagnostic industry to bring the much needed next generation diagnostic tools to the market. With infectious diseases spreading into new regions including many industrialized nations, an improved diagnostic test will not only help to prevent further spread of the disease in the developing world, it may represent also a significant commercial opportunity for AbD Serotec and MorphoSys in future,” commented Dieter Feger, Senior Vice President and Head of MorphoSys’s AbD Serotec unit. “We are looking forward to combining our expertise in the antibody development space with FIND’s disease knowledge and know-how in high disease burden countries. Our unique and fully in vitro based HuCAL technology allows us to actively direct the process of antibody generation to meet the needs of the project.”

About FIND
FIND, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a not-for-profit Swiss foundation whose mission is to drive the development and implementation of accurate and affordable diagnostic tests that can be used as near as possible to where patients first seek care. FIND’s disease portfolio currently includes tuberculosis, malaria and human African trypanosomiasis and donors are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands, UNITAID, Irish Aid and other institutions and private donors. FIND is ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 certified. For further information please visit

About MorphoSys:
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

HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM® and RapMAT® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG

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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