MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) announced today that its research and diagnostic antibodies unit AbD Serotec has signed an exclusive license agreement with UCL Business PLC (UCLB), the technology development company of University College London (UCL). The agreement provides AbD Serotec with worldwide exclusive access to a potent anti-PTH antibody for commercial use in research and diagnostic applications. The anti-PTH antibody forms the basis of an existing relationship between AbD Serotec and a leading diagnostic company which markets clinical parathyroid hormone assays.
Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is the most important regulator of calcium levels in the human body. When blood calcium becomes too low, calcium-sensing receptors in the parathyroid gland are activated and parathyroid hormone is secreted, thereby mobilizing calcium release from bone and suppressing calcium loss in urine. Measurement of PTH is important in determining the cause of excessively high or low calcium levels. High levels may be due to a parathyroid gland tumor, which is usually benign (primary hyperparathyroidism) or secondary hyperparathyroidism, which is usually a result of kidney failure. Low levels may be the result of a failure of the parathyroid gland. In primary hyperparathyroidism the parathyroid tumor must be removed. PTH assays are used as a routine clinical tool to detect decreases in plasma PTH levels after all diseased tissue has been excised, even whilst surgery is taking place. The test allows a more limited procedure by confirming complete removal of diseased tissue and has reduced the need for repeated surgery. PTH assays in other conditions provide clinicians with important information that assists in managing patients with abnormal calcium levels.
“Our goal is to achieve a market-leading position in those areas we see as our sweet spots. In this particular case, the anti-PTH antibody sourced from our relationship with University College London has already allowed us to forge a first supply agreement with a leading diagnostic company. We have thus decided to expand this strong position and take an exclusive license for this product from UCLB,” commented Dieter Feger, Head of AbD Serotec.
MorphoSys is an independent biotechnology company that develops novel antibodies for therapeutic, diagnostic and research applications. The Company’s HuCAL technology is one of the most powerful methods available for generating fully human antibodies. By successfully applying this and other proprietary technologies, MorphoSys has become a leader in the field of therapeutic antibodies, one of the fastest-growing drug classes in human health-care. Through its alliances with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, MorphoSys has created a pipeline of more than 60 drug candidates. The Company is expanding its drug pipeline by adding new partnered programs, and by building a portfolio of fully-owned therapeutic antibodies. For its proprietary portfolio, the Company is focused on the areas of oncology and inflammation. Its most advanced program MOR103, a first-in-class, fully human antibody against GM-CSF, is currently tested in a Phase Ib/IIa trial in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Via its business unit AbD Serotec, MorphoSys is expanding the reach of its technologies in the diagnostics and research markets. MorphoSys is headquartered in Munich, Germany and listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol “MOR”. For further information, visit www.morphosys.com
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay® and RapMAT® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG.
UCL Business PLC (UCLB) is responsible for technology development and commercial transactions for University College London (UCL). Offering world-class expertise in areas ranging from biomedicine to engineering, from the arts to the built environment, UCLB works to make commercial connections between the expertise and innovations of academics at UCL and the needs of industry and the wider marketplace.
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.
Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser
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