SOURCE: MorphoSys AG

December 02, 2010 10:16 ET

MorphoSys and Xencor Initiate Phase 1 Study of Anti-CD19 Antibody in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

MARTINSRIED, GERMANY and MUNCHEN, GERMANY--(Marketwire - December 2, 2010) -

MorphoSys AG /

MorphoSys and Xencor Initiate Phase 1 Study of Anti-CD19 Antibody in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

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MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment; TecDAX) and Xencor, Inc. announced today that they have initiated Phase 1 testing of MOR208 (XmAb(®)5574), and the first patient has been dosed. MOR208 (XmAb5574) is a potent monoclonal anti-CD19 antibody to which MorphoSys recently gained worldwide access via an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Xencor. The trial is designed to assess the drug's safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic profile and preliminary anti-tumor activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. The open-label, multi-dose, single-arm, dose-escalation study is estimated to enroll 30 patients suffering from relapsed or refractory CLL. More information on the trial can be found by searching for XmAb5574 at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

"With MOR208, our second proprietary compound enters clinical trials in addition to currently ten programs being developed in the clinic by our partners", commented Dr. Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "CD19 represents a particularly attractive immunotherapy target for cancers of lymphoid origin, due to its high expression levels on non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and B-cell leukemias such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia."

"This is the fourth high ADCC antibody based on our XmAb technology that has reached the clinic, demonstrating the tremendous progress our optimization technologies have made in producing next-generation biological drugs," said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., CEO of Xencor. "We'll be collaborating with our new partner MorphoSys through Phase 1, and are sure that their antibody expertise and product development capabilities will help accelerate the compound's clinical progress."

In preclinical studies, MOR208 (XmAb5574) was well tolerated at various dose levels, elicited immediate and sustained B-cell depletion, and showed strong anti-tumor potency, anti-proliferative and apoptotic activity. B-cell malignancies, such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia afflict more than one hundred and fifty thousand patients in the seven major markets each year. CD19 is expressed more broadly and earlier in B-cell development than CD20, the target of the marketed cancer drug Rituxan(®), therefore potentially allowing for an even broader use of MOR208 (XmAb5574) as compared to Rituxan.

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 being 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 http://www.morphosys.com/

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

About Xencor:

Xencor, Inc. engineers superior biotherapeutics using its proprietary Protein Design Automation(®) technology platform, and is a leader in the field of antibody engineering to significantly improve antibody half-life, immune-regulatory function and potency. The company is advancing multiple XmAb(®) antibody drug candidates into the clinic, including XmAb®5871 targeting CD32b and CD19 for autoimmune diseases, an anti-CD30 candidate XmAb(®)2513 which recently completed a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma, and a portfolio of biosuperior antibodies that are versions of blockbuster antibody drugs engineered for superior half-life and dosing schedule. Xencor's antibody engineering technology has been licensed through multiple partnerships with industry leaders such as Pfizer, Centocor, MorphoSys, Boehringer Ingelheim, CSL Ltd. and Human Genome Sciences. In these partnerships Xencor is applying its suite of proprietary antibody Fc domains to improve antibody drug candidates for traits such as sustained half-life and potency. For more information, please visit www.xencor.com.

XmAb(®) is a registered trademark of Xencor

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.

[HUG#1468272]

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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 Share,HDAX,MIDCAP;

Listed: Freiverkehr in Börse Stuttgart,

Freiverkehr in Hanseatische Wertpapierbörse zu Hamburg,

Freiverkehr in Börse Berlin,

Freiverkehr in Börse Düsseldorf,

Freiverkehr in Bayerische Börse München,

Freiverkehr in Niedersächsische Börse zu Hannover,

Prime Standard in Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse,

Regulierter Markt in Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse;

Press Release (PDF): http://hugin.info/130295/R/1468272/405738.pdf

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Source: MorphoSys AG via Thomson Reuters ONE

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

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