SOURCE: MorphoSys AG

October 12, 2010 01:39 ET

MorphoSys and Proteros Biostructures Receive Research Grant to Develop New Technology Platform for Structure-Based Engineering of Antibodies

MARTINSRIED, GERMANY and MUNICH, GERMANY--(Marketwire - October 12, 2010) -

MorphoSys AG /

MorphoSys and Proteros Biostructures Receive Research Grant to Develop New Technology Platform for Structure-Based Engineering of Antibodies

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    Analysis of Antibody-Antigen-Complex Structures to Allow More Efficient
                     Engineering of Therapeutic Antibodies

MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) and Proteros Biostructures announced today that they have been awarded a grant by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF. The funding of approximately EUR 850,000 supports both companies in establishing a new technology platform for efficient structural characterization of antibody-antigen- complexes. MorphoSys will provide relevant antigen and antibody molecules, Proteros will provide advanced x-ray technology and computational chemistry know-how. The high resolution access to antibody-antigen-complex structures is expected to allow a faster and more efficient engineering of therapeutic antibodies. The program is part of Munich's biotechnology initiative "m4 - Personalized Medicine and Targeted Therapies - A New Dimension in Drug Development in the Munich Region", which this year received Leading-Edge Cluster status in a German government funding competition.

In the first project, the two companies will analyze MorphoSys's proprietary clinical anti-inflammatory antibody MOR103 and the binding properties to its corresponding antigen GM-CSF. MOR103 is a fully human HuCAL antibody directed against GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor), being developed in the area of inflammatory diseases, for example rheumatoid arthritis. Due to its diverse functions in the immune system, GM-CSF can be considered a target for a broad spectrum of anti-inflammatory therapies. The program is currently being evaluated in a European clinical phase 1b/2a trial in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.

"Early clarification of the precise interaction between antibody and antigen is very valuable information in drug discovery, as it can help in identifying the most promising lead candidate or in generating improved follow-up compounds by directed molecular evolution," commented Dr Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG. "Within the research program we'll bring together MorphoSys's antibody expertise and Proteros's structure solution know- how to tackle challenges in crystallizing whole IgG molecules."

"The analysis of antibody-antigen interaction at atomic resolution efficiently guides the further evolution of antibodies," commented Dr. Torsten Neuefeind, CEO of Proteros. "In the joint program, a technology platform will be developed which combines the strengths of combinatorial biology and rational structure guided approaches".

                +++ Save the dates: MorphoSys's R&D Day 2010 +++
                      London - Thursday, November 25, 2010
                      New York - Monday, November 29, 2010

About MorphoSys:

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

HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay® and RapMAT® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys.

About Proteros Biostructures GmbH:

Proteros is a privately held company, which provides services and proprietary technologies to support integrated drug discovery within life sciences. The company accelerates and improves protein structure analysis and structure- based drug discovery with its expertise, industrialized processes and unique technologies for crystallography and fragment-based lead generation. Proteros complements its clients' internal capabilities with external expertise and access to flexible resources. Proteros currently provides services for more than 70 pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients in Europe, North America, and Japan.

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.


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MorphoSys AG
Lena-Christ-Str. 48 Martinsried / München Germany

WKN: 663200;ISIN: DE0006632003;Index:TecDAX,CDAX,Prime All Share,TECH All
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Freiverkehr in Börse Berlin,
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Freiverkehr in Bayerische Börse München,
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Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:

    MorphoSys AG
    Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Loser
    Head of Corporate Communications & IR
    Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122

    Mario Brkulj
    Senior Manager Corporate Communications & IR
    Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-454

    Jessica Kulpi
    Specialist Corporate Communications & IR
    Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-332

    Email Contact

    Proteros biostructures GmbH
    Dr. Kurt Herrenknecht
    Director Business Development
    Phone: +49 (0) 89 7007 61 - 0
    E-Mail: Email Contact