MARTINSRIED / MUNICH, Germany, May 24, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX; OTC: MPSYY) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced a long-term strategic alliance for the discovery and development of novel therapeutic antibodies against cancer.
MorphoSys will work with MD Anderson's Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation (ORBIT) unit, a platform of MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program with a combination of industry and academic science expertise in the development of monoclonal antibodies.
Collaborating on numerous targets in a variety of oncology indications, the partners will work together to identify, validate and develop novel anti-cancer antibodies through to clinical proof of concept. MorphoSys will apply its proprietary Ylanthia technology to generate and optimize fully human antibody candidates against jointly selected targets. The parties will collaborate in target validation and preclinical drug development to quickly bring selected candidates into the clinic.
"We are excited to join forces with MD Anderson, one of the world's most respected cancer research and care institutions, to work on bringing cancer treatment to a new level," said Dr Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. "This partnership combines MD Anderson's expertise with our strength in developing innovative antibodies based on our Ylanthia technology platform. This deal is another step in the execution of our strategy of building an oncology pipeline of optimized therapeutic antibodies against innovative targets, with the goal of improving outcomes for cancer patients."
MD Anderson also will conduct in collaboration with MorphoSys early clinical trials of therapeutic antibody candidates with the goal of obtaining proof of concept, utilizing its translational medicine capabilities to optimize development.
"ORBIT is committed to bringing ground-breaking monoclonal antibodies into the clinic that can significantly benefit cancer patients", said Carlo Toniatti, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of ORBIT. "This alliance is designed to complement our drug discovery and clinical strengths and quickly and effectively develop potentially disruptive anti-cancer therapies for patients worldwide."
The long-term collaboration, licensing and co-development alliance will embrace multiple targets and programs. During the five-year research phase of the partnership, the parties will select innovative targets and apply their respective expertise and technologies to generate and validate antibody candidates against these targets. During the development phase of the collaboration, the parties will jointly develop antibodies through clinical proof of concept. Thereafter, MorphoSys has options to continue development of selected antibodies through later clinical stages.
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.
About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution's sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is ranked No.1 for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" survey. It has ranked as one of the nation's top two hospitals since the survey began in 1990, and has ranked first for 11 of the past 14 years. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
ORBIT (Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation) platform is a novel MD Anderson platform with the mission of making MD Anderson a recognized leader in the discovery and development of novel monoclonal antibodies. The ORBIT team focuses on combining scientific excellence with industry standards and is committed to accelerate and execute the translation of novel discoveries into clinically relevant anti-cancer mAbs. ORBIT's scientific directors are Jeffrey Molldrem, M.D., professor of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and Michael Curran, Ph.D., assistant professor of Immunology.
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
Senior Manager Corporate Communications & IR
Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-404
Media Release (PDF) http://hugin.info/130295/R/2014738/746959.pdf
Source: MorphoSys AG