SOURCE: MorphoSys AG

June 24, 2009 01:49 ET

MorphoSys Reports Filing for Phase 1b/2a Trial for its Lead Program MOR103 in Rheumatoid Arthritis

MARTINSRIED, GERMANY--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) -


MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) today announced that the Company has submitted an application for the authorization of a phase 1b/2a clinical study in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for its lead drug MOR103, a fully human HuCAL-derived monoclonal antibody directed against Granulocyte Macrophage-Colony Stimulating Factor. The trial, which will be conducted in multiple centers in several European countries, is expected to enroll 135 patients in total beginning in the second half of 2009. Additionally, the Company today reported positive results from the phase 1 clinical study for MOR103 in healthy volunteers. The results of this study indicate that MOR103 is generally safe and well tolerated at all doses administered.

"We are pleased to advance the clinical development of this promising compound into a phase 1b/2a clinical trial to further evaluate safety and tolerability as well as clinical activity in RA patients," commented Dr. Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys. "In combination with the attractive preclinical profile the results we have seen in the phase 1 trial support our plans to develop MOR103 as a safe and efficacious drug for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. In addition to the excellent characteristics the antibody has shown so far with regard to affinity, specificity and stability, we have been able to demonstrate a robust serum half-life in humans."

The completed phase 1 trial was designed as a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled single ascending dose study to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic parameters of MOR103 in healthy volunteers. In total, 63 volunteers received ascending doses of MOR103 up to a concentration of 3 mg/kg or placebo in seven dose cohorts via intravenous infusion. No maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was reached in the study. Analysis of the pharmacokinetic properties of MOR103 showed a serum half-life typical of a fully human antibody which could translate into a competitive dosing regimen. The overall safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic properties of MOR103 provide a solid foundation for the Company's development plans, including the forthcoming Phase 1b/2a study in patients.

MorphoSys will present at today's 4th Annual Piper Jaffray Europe Conference at 08:30 am BST (09:30 am CET). The presentation as well as live and archived webcast of the presentation will be provided at www.morphosys.com.


For further information please contact: Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser, Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122, gutjahr-loeser@morphosys.com or Mario Brkulj, Senior Manager Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-454, brkulj@morphosys.com

About MorphoSys:

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 Boehringer Ingelheim, Centocor/Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. Within these partnerships, more than 50 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/

HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM® and RapMAT® 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.


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