New Clinical Data on MorphoSys's Blood Cancer Drug Candidate MOR208 in NHL and CLL Presented at ASH Annual Meeting

MARTINSRIED / MUNICH, Germany, Dec. 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX; OTC: MPSYY) today announced clinical data on its proprietary drug candidate MOR208. MOR208 is a potent anti-CD19 antibody with a proprietary modification to the Fc portion that is being developed to treat B cell malignancies. The data, which were presented at the 2015 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, are from a phase 2a monotherapy study of patients with different subtypes of relapsed or refractory Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) and another phase 2 study where MOR208 is tested in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in combination with lenalidomide. Clinical trials of the combination of MOR208 with other anti-lymphoma therapies (e.g. lenalidomide and bendamustine) will commence shortly.

"The MOR208 data presented at ASH provide further confirmation for the potential of MOR208 to become an important treatment option in a field with significant unmet need," commented Dr. Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "Encouraging single-agent activity together with a long duration of response as a single agent in patients with relapsed/refractory NHL bodes well for additional combination trials in DLBCL and CLL."

The open-label, phase 2a, multicenter study was designed to assess the activity and safety of single-agent MOR208 in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma (FL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and other indolent NHL (iNHL), who had received at least one prior rituximab-containing therapy. Patients were initially treated with a total of eight weekly doses of 12 mg/kg MOR208. Those with at least stable disease stayed on MOR208 treatment for an additional four weeks. After completion of these twelve weekly doses of treatment, those patients who demonstrated at least a partial response received maintenance therapy until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

The data for the NHL phase 2a monotherapy study presented at ASH 2015 summarize efficacy and safety results for 92 heavily pre-treated patients. The clinical data show that MOR208 is well tolerated with a low level of infusion reactions and demonstrates encouraging single-agent activity. The overall response rate was 28% across all four subtypes of NHL and reached 36% in the DLBCL subgroup (both based on evaluable patients). At the time of the analysis, several responders - 9 out of 21 - had an ongoing response to the single agent treatment. Median progression-free survival for all subtypes of NHL tested in the study amounted to 6 months. The longest response duration observed so far exceeded 20 months in both DLBCL and FL.

A second presentation, from investigators at The Ohio State University, reported on an investigator-initiated trial (IIT) of combinations of MOR208 with lenalidomide in relapsed/refractory or treatment-naive CLL patients. Patient accrual in both cohorts is ongoing; so far 16 patients have been enrolled and 11 patients have been evaluated. The combination of MOR208 with lenalidomide has been well tolerated. Three partial responses and two stable diseases were observed in the relapsed/refractory cohort and four partial responses in the treatment-naïve cohort so far. Responses have generally deepened over time, with five patients completing 12 cycles of therapy. This study has recently been amended to include patients with Richter's transformation and to add MOR208 to ibrutinib in patients undergoing molecular relapse.

"There is a high unmet medical need for CLL patients, especially following discontinuation after ibrutinib therapy," said Dr. Jennifer Woyach, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University. "We just recently added additional cohorts to our ongoing CLL study to evaluate MOR208 in combination with ibrutinib as we see MOR208 as a promising combination partner in this setting."

MorphoSys will hold today, December 7, 2015, at 8:00pm EST (December 8, 2015: 1:00am GMT, 2:00am MEZ) an Investor & Analyst Event at the 2015 ASH Annual Meeting. Two KOLs will present the new clinical data for MOR208 and MOR202.

A replay and the presentation will be made available at


The ASH presentations can be downloaded from the Company's website:

Poster #1528
Jurczak et al: Phase 2a Study of Single-Agent MOR208 in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory B-cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Poster #2953
Woyach et al: A Phase II Study of the Fc Engineered CD19 Antibody MOR208 in Combination with Lenalidomide for Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

About MorphoSys:
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 100 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
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®, RapMAT®, arYla®, Ylanthia®, 100 billion high potentials®, Slonomics®, Lanthio Pharma® and LanthioPep® are registered trademarks of the MorphoSys Group.

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:
MorphoSys AG
Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser
Head of Corporate Communications & IR

Alexandra Goller
Manager Corporate Communications & IR

Jochen Orlowski
Associate Director Corporate Communications & IR

Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-404

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Source:MorphoSys AG