MARTINSRIED/MUNICH, Germany, Oct. 15, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX, OTC: MPSYY) and Lanthio Pharma today announced the acquisition of Lanthio Pharma's lanthipeptide technology, which will be used for drug discovery by MorphoSys. The acquisition was triggered by MorphoSys exercising an option within an ongoing collaboration and option agreement between the two companies. By exercising the option, MorphoSys takes over the lanthipeptide technology and all related intellectual property. Lanthio Pharma will continue to focus on building its portfolio of selected lanthipeptide drugs and will participate financially in MorphoSys's exploitation of the technology. Financial details were not disclosed.
"Lanthipeptides can become a complementary addition to our therapeutic antibody pipeline and will add more diversity to our drug discovery and development approaches," commented Dr. Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG. "The decision to acquire this technology was made following a feasibility study to establish high quality and diverse lanthipeptide-based libraries. This brings us closer to adding members of this class of stabilized peptides to our drug portfolio."
As part of its innovation capital initiative, MorphoSys entered a collaboration and option agreement with Lanthio Pharma in November 2012, which included an equity investment as part of the company's Series A financing round.
"Today's news marks an important step for our innovation capital initiative. The joint collaboration on a broader lanthipeptide platform has opened up an interesting opportunity to create further value for both MorphoSys and our partner," commented Jens Holstein, Chief Financial Officer of MorphoSys. "We will continue with this initiative and will seek other opportunities to invest and collaborate selectively with start-ups and smaller biotechs."
Dr. Gert Moll, Chief Scientific Officer of Lanthio Pharma commented: "Great synergies between our companies have resulted in a very successful collaboration. We are confident that MorphoSys will be able to further exploit the great potential of our technology platform by bringing more lanthipeptide drugs into the clinic."
Lanthipeptides comprise a novel class of therapeutics with high target selectivity and improved drug-like properties. Lanthio Pharma's approach can be used to identify peptides which are selective for a specific disease target and to stabilize them in their optimal structural conformation for receptor binding. The high specificity can open up new therapeutic applications, potentially providing drugs for indications classically not targeted with antibodies. In addition to intravenous administration, therapeutic plasma levels of lanthipeptides can potentially be achieved via oral, pulmonary or subcutaneous delivery.
MorphoSys developed HuCAL, the most successful antibody library technology in the pharmaceutical industry. By successfully applying this and other patented technologies, MorphoSys has become a leader in the field of therapeutic antibodies, one of the fastest-growing drug classes in human healthcare.
Together with its pharmaceutical partners, MorphoSys has built a therapeutic pipeline of more than 80 human antibody drug candidates for the treatment of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease, to name just a few. With its ongoing commitment to new antibody technology and drug development, MorphoSys is focused on making the healthcare products of tomorrow. MorphoSys is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol MOR. For regular updates about MorphoSys, visit http://www.morphosys.com.
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®, RapMAT®, arYla®, Ylanthia® and 100 billion high potentials® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG.
Slonomics® is a registered trademark of Sloning BioTechnology GmbH, a subsidiary of MorphoSys AG.
About Lanthio Pharma:
Lanthio Pharma is a privately held drug discovery company that applies its proprietary lanthionine-peptide technology to the discovery of novel peptide therapeutics with longer half-life and high receptor selectivity.
Lanthio Pharma is building a pipeline of therapeutic lanthipeptide drugs against diseases of high medical interest, including fibrosis, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Constrained peptides like lanthipeptides are an emerging compound class which offers the potential to address many types of target and disease categories, currently beyond reach for therapeutic proteins or small molecules. The technology of Lanthio Pharma includes a proprietary bacterial display library capability, which allows construction of focused or randomized libraries of lanthipeptides that can be screened against disease targets of interest. MorphoSys AG has obtained the rights to commercialize Lanthio's technology.
Lanthio Pharma is funded by Inkef Capital, BioGeneration Ventures, MorphoSys and RUG Holding.
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.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser
Head of Corporate Communications & IR
Associate Director Corporate Communications & IR
Specialist Corporate Communications & IR
Specialist Corporate Communications & IR
Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-404
Michiel Lodder, PhD
VP Business Development
Tel: +31 (0)6 50 21 1329
Media Release (PDF) http://hugin.info/130295/R/1862848/653606.pdf