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MorphoSys Announces Clinical Milestone from Strategic Alliance

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MorphoSys AG has announced that it will receive a milestone payment from Novartis in connection with the initiation of a phase 1 clinical trial, using a HuCAL-derived, fully human antibody in the therapeutic area of musculoskeletal diseases.

This news represents the second HuCAL-derived antibody to achieve this stage during the course of 2010, following a clinical milestone hit as part of the alliance with Centocor in June 2010.

"Therapeutic antibodies based on our technologies will be our main value driver in the years ahead and we expect our pipeline to continue to expand and mature. At the end of 2010, we expect MorphoSys to be participating in almost 80 unique product opportunities," commented Dr. Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG. "Today's news represents the third antibody to enter clinical development from our collaboration with Novartis and the second HuCAL-derived antibody to enter clinical development this year."

MorphoSys projects that in 2010 between four and six partnered programs could enter clinical trials. With the recently announced in-licensing of an Fc-engineered antibody against CD19 from Xencor Inc., MorphoSys now expects up to 15 proprietary and partnered antibody programs to be in clinical trials including at least four programs in phase 2 clinical trials by year end.