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MorphoSys Licensing Partner GSK Starts Phase 2 Study with GSK3196165 (MOR103) in Hand Osteoarthritis

MARTINSRIED / MUNICH, Germany, April 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX; OTC: MPSYY) today announced that its licensing partner GSK has initiated a phase 2 clinical study to investigate the effectiveness and safety of GSK3196165 (previously known as MOR103) in patients with inflammatory hand osteoarthritis (HOA). GSK3196165 is a monoclonal antibody against GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) cytokine, a target molecule for a broad range of inflammatory diseases. The antibody was discovered and engineered by MorphoSys using its HuCAL technology and outlicensed to GSK in 2013.

The European multi-center phase 2 double-blind, placebo-controlled study will investigate the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous injections of GSK3196165 in 40 adult subjects with inflammatory hand osteoarthritis. The main objective of the study is to assess the efficacy potential of GSK3196165 on pain in inflammatory HOA. Secondary objectives include the assessment of safety and pharmacokinetics of GSK3196165.

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes damage to the surface of joints in the body leading to joint pain and stiffness. In some patients it can adversely affect work and normal daily activities.

"We are delighted to see our licensing partner GSK moving GSK3196165 into a clinical phase 2 study designed to assess its efficacy and safety in inflammatory hand osteoarthritis, a chronic disease with high medical need", commented Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "In addition to an ongoing phase 2 study in rheumatoid arthritis, this is GSK's second clinical study with GSK3196165 in a therapeutically highly relevant indication. We are excited that our partner is further broadening the clinical development program with this HuCAL antibody discovered by MorphoSys."

About GSK3196165 (MOR103)
In 2013, MorphoSys outlicensed MOR103 (now: GSK3196165) to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Under the terms of the agreement, GSK assumed responsibility for all subsequent development and commercialization activities of the drug candidate. MorphoSys received an immediate upfront payment of EUR 22.5 million. On achievement of certain developmental, regulatory, commercial and sales-based milestones, MorphoSys will be eligible to receive additional payments from GSK of up to EUR 423 million to total, in addition to tiered, double-digit royalties on net sales.
GSK3196165 is a HuCAL-derived antibody against GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) cytokine, a target molecule for a broad range of inflammatory diseases. GSK is currently developing GSK3196165 in two clinical trials in two indications - a phase 2b study in rheumatoid arthritis (initiated in Q3 2015) and a phase 2a study in inflammatory hand osteoarthritis (started now). MorphoSys has concluded a Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers, a phase 1/2 study in mild to moderate rheumatoid arthritis as well as a phase 1b study in multiple sclerosis.

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 http://www.morphosys.com.

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

Jochen Orlowski
Associate Director Corporate Communications & IR

Alexandra Goller
Senior Manager Corporate Communications & IR

Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-404
investors@morphosys.com

Media Release (PDF) http://hugin.info/130295/R/2004259/739981.pdf

HUG#2004259

Source: MorphoSys AG