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MorphoSys and Daiichi Sankyo Forge Alliance to Develop Antibody Therapies against Hospital-Acquired Infections

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MorphoSys AG announced the formation of a new alliance with DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY, LIMITED in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies for hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections. Daiichi Sankyo becomes MorphoSys's first collaborator for HuCAL PLATINUM®-based drug discovery in infectious diseases.

"This is another landmark deal for MorphoSys and is our first initiative in the infectious disease arena," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG. "Today's news is proof that MorphoSys can tap new growth opportunities in the therapeutic antibody field on top of the established partnerships the Company has in place. We see lucrative opportunities for our new HuCAL Platinum technology in the infectious disease field, which we intend to exploit within selected partnerships in the years ahead."

Under the terms of the agreement, MorphoSys and Daiichi Sankyo will collaboratively apply HuCAL PLATINUM, the latest and version of MorphoSys's antibody libraries.

The companies will jointly apply established as well as novel approaches to generate optimized, fully human therapeutic antibodies against targets associated with nosocomial infections. Daiichi Sankyo will also commit to funding the development of certain infectious disease specific technology at MorphoSys, which will be used to identify the antibody-based drugs.

Total payments under the agreement include committed license fees and R&D funding in addition to success-based development milestones. MorphoSys also stands to receive royalties on sales of marketed drugs emerging from the collaboration.

There is a large, unmet need for long-lasting drugs against pathogens in difficult to treat nosocomial infections. Current mortality rates in the specific area of focus are reported as 40%-60%, due primarily to resistance to existing antibiotics. The global market for such drugs targeted solely at blood stream infections and hospital acquired pneumonia is estimated to exceed $1 billion.

MorphoSys and Daiichi Sankyo started working together in 2006 in a collaboration that has resulted to date in four active therapeutic antibody programs mainly in oncology. The new agreement is built on the strong existing relationship between the partners.