BALLERUP, Denmark & MARTINSRIED/MUNICH, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LEO Pharma A/S, a global leader in medical dermatology, and MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX; NASDAQ: MOR) today announced an expansion of their existing strategic alliance to include peptide-derived therapeutics. The objective of the alliance is to identify novel, peptide-derived therapeutics for unmet medical needs that will be valuable additions to both companies’ pipelines. This alliance expands the existing partnership of the two companies signed in November 2016 to jointly discover and develop antibody-based therapies in dermatology.
Under the terms of the agreement, LEO Pharma will select targets against which MorphoSys will identify lead molecules using its proprietary peptide technology platform. LEO Pharma will either develop these lead molecules, or use them to aid the design of other drug candidates. LEO Pharma will have exclusive, worldwide rights and be responsible for development and commercialization of resulting drugs in dermatology. MorphoSys will have an exclusive option to secure worldwide rights to any drugs arising from the collaboration in the field of oncology.
“It is with great pleasure that we expand our collaboration with MorphoSys to also include identification of lead molecules for selected targets of particular dermatological interest,” said Thorsten Thormann, Vice President, Research, LEO Pharma. “By continuing our innovative collaboration to find and develop novel, peptide-derived therapeutics we will boost our pipeline while committing to even greater efforts in our quest to address the high unmet medical needs among people with skin diseases.”
MorphoSys will receive R&D funding as well as success-based development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, plus royalties on net sales of peptide drugs commercialized by LEO Pharma. Further financial details were not disclosed.
“We are excited to expand our existing antibody partnership with LEO Pharma with the goal of developing novel, peptide-derived drugs,” said Dr. Markus Enzelberger, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG. “This partnering deal utilizes our newest innovative proprietary peptide technology and creates an ideal route for differentiated product candidates in an area of severe unmet medical need.”
About MorphoSys’s peptide technology
MorphoSys’s peptide technology aims at generating a novel class of structured and eminently stable peptides enabling highly selective and high affinity target binding. Potential applications of peptides include the use as stand-alone drugs, as fusion partners to proteins, or as agents that are chemically modified or fused to toxins. This approach is intended to enable targeting of novel epitopes and to open up new target space.
MorphoSys is a late-stage, biopharmaceutical company devoted to the development of innovative and differentiated therapies for patients suffering from serious diseases. Based on its technological leadership in generating antibodies, MorphoSys, together with its partners, has developed and contributed to the development of more than 100 product candidates, of which 29 are currently in clinical development. This broad pipeline spans MorphoSys’s two business segments: Proprietary Development, in which MorphoSys invests in product candidates for its own account, and Partnered Discovery, in which product candidates are developed exclusively for a variety of Pharma and Biotech partners. In 2017, Tremfya® (guselkumab), marketed by Janssen, became the first therapeutic antibody based on MorphoSys’s proprietary technology to receive marketing approval for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in the United States, the European Union and Canada. MorphoSys is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the U.S. stock exchange Nasdaq under the symbol MOR. For regular updates about MorphoSys, visit https://www.morphosys.com.
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®, RapMAT®, arYla®, Ylanthia®, 100 billion high potentials®, Slonomics®, Lanthio Pharma® and LanthioPep® are registered trademarks of the MorphoSys Group. Tremfya® is a trademark of Janssen Biotech.
About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. By offering care solutions to patients in more than 130 countries globally, LEO Pharma supports people in managing their skin conditions. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, the healthcare company headquartered in Denmark has devoted decades of research and development to delivering products and solutions to people with skin conditions. In 2017 LEO Pharma employed around 5,200 people worldwide and had sales of 1.4 billion euros. For more information, visit www.leo-pharma.com and www.linkedin.com/company/leo-pharma