MorphoSys and Astellas Enter Antibody Partnership
Deal Seals MorphoSys's Third Japanese Pharmaceutical Alliance
MARTINSRIED/MUNICH, Germany, March 28, 2007 - MorphoSys AG (Frankfurt: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) today announced that Astellas Pharma Inc. ("Astellas" Tokyo, Japan), Japan's second largest ethical pharmaceutical company, and MorphoSys AG have entered into a license agreement for the use of MorphoSys's HuCAL technology. Under the terms of the agreement, MorphoSys grants Astellas access to its HuCAL GOLD antibody library for use in its internal pharmaceutical drug discovery programs. In return, MorphoSys stands to receive an up-front payment and annual user fees during the life span of the agreement.
During the term of the agreement, Astellas will have access to the MorphoSys HuCAL GOLD library at its research site in Tsukuba, Japan. Additionally, Astellas has the option to start antibody projects during the life time of the agreement. Under the optional collaboration component of the alliance, MorphoSys will utilize its HuCAL GOLD antibody library to generate novel HuCAL antibodies against targets provided by Astellas. Subsequently, Astellas will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development of these compounds, as well as the ensuing marketing of resulting products. For projects initiated under the collaboration, MorphoSys stands to receive research funding, plus licensing and milestone payments, as well as royalties on end-product sales. The agreement may have a duration of up to five years.
"Today's deal adds another representative of Japan's leading pharmaceutical companies to MorphoSys's roster of partners and increases at the same time our market share among the 20 largest drug makers worldwide," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. "This new therapeutic partnership with Astellas once again shows the potential for innovative technology such as our HuCAL GOLD antibody library in Japan - a market we set out to explore just some 24 months ago."
Astellas Pharma Inc., located in Tokyo, Japan, is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global pharmaceutical company by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities and continuing to grow in the world pharmaceutical market. For more information on Astellas Pharma Inc., please visit the company's website at http://www.astellas.com.
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-Schering (USA/Germany), 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-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/.
HuCAL(R) and HuCAL GOLD(R) are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG
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.
For more information, please contact:
Chief Financial Officer
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-439
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-5439
Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser
Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-5122
Manager Public Relations
Phone : +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-454
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-5454
For further information, please contact:
Posted: March 2007