MorphoSys Enters Therapeutic Research Collaboration on Novel Target Molecule With Genesis Research
MARTINSRIED, Germany, Oct. 8, 2007 -- MorphoSys AG (Frankfurt:MOR) (Prime Standard Segment) today announced the signing of a research collaboration with New Zealand-based Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd. (New Zealand:GEN). Under the terms of the agreement, Genesis will continue to use HuCAL-based antibodies originally generated by the MorphoSys business unit AbD Serotec against the human fibroblast growth factor receptor FGFR5 for target validation and pre-clinical studies as part of its proprietary Zyrogen program. In this program, Genesis is investigating the development of therapeutic antibodies specific for the target molecule FGFR5, which is implicated in various autoimmune and bone-related diseases. Based on the scientific data generated by Genesis during the collaboration, the parties will discuss further development of the therapeutic program. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
The underlying target molecule FGFR5 (fibroblast growth factor receptor 5), a cell surface protein expressed by stromal cells of the hemopoietic system, was originally identified by Genesis from its proprietary EST databases. Genesis has carried out extensive studies to characterize the molecule's interactions with different cell types and tissues, suggesting that it is a therapeutic target for diseases such as osteoporosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. With the signing of this agreement, Genesis will continue to extend its strong patent position around this molecule using the HuCAL antibodies and will further validate its approach through in vitro and in vivo studies as a necessary prelude to a clinical development program.
"The collaboration with Genesis provides us with access to an innovative and scientifically attractive target molecule which may lead to lucrative future commercial opportunities for MorphoSys," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG. "At the same time, it is a further example of the synergies arising between our two business segments, as satisfied AbD Serotec customers decide to partner with MorphoSys for the development of their therapeutic or diagnostic projects."
"AbD Serotec have provided excellent technical advice and service," said Stephen Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Research. "We value the opportunity to work with MorphoSys Group to develop our therapeutic monoclonal antibodies which have great potential to help treat several diseases where there are limited treatments."
MorphoSys is a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on the generation of fully human antibodies as a means to discover and develop innovative antibody-based drugs against life-threatening diseases. MorphoSys's goal is to establish HuCAL as the technology of choice for antibody generation in research, diagnostics and therapeutic applications. The Company currently has therapeutic and research alliances with the majority of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies including Bayer-Schering, Boehringer Ingelheim, Centocor/Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. Within these partnerships, more than 40 therapeutic antibody programs are ongoing in which MorphoSys participates through exclusive license and milestones payments as well as royalties on any end products. Additionally, MorphoSys is active in the antibody research market through its AbD Serotec business unit. The business unit has operations in Germany (Munich), the U.S. (Raleigh, NC) and U.K. (Oxford). For further information, please visit http://www.morphosys.com/
About Genesis Research:
Genesis Research is a New Zealand-based biotechnology company, listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. Since Genesis was established in 1994, it has built a broad therapeutic development platform targeting immune disorders and cancer and is developing RNAi therapeutics. Genesis has undertaken ten clinical trials in New Zealand and other countries, including seven at phase II, in collaboration with a number of international companies including Immunex (now Amgen) and Corixa (now GSK). Genesis has also worked with CSL, EvoGenix, Jurox and other Australian groups. Genesis has 4 issued patents on FGFR5 and several other patents pending that make claims to the therapeutic use of FGFR5 or FGFR5 antagonists in a variety of disorders. For further information see www.genesis.co.nz
HuCAL(r) and HuCAL GOLD(r) are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG
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.