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MorphoSys Announces Clinical Milestone in Cancer Program with Bayer Schering Pharma

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MorphoSys AG has announced that Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany has filed all necessary documentation to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial with a HuCAL-derived antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) in the therapeutic area of oncology. This achievement marks a significant milestone within the Bayer Schering Pharma alliance and triggers a payment to MorphoSys.

"Today's news underlines how important our core technology is to the pharmaceutical industry's drug pipeline," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG. "We now have clinical trials of HuCAL-based antibodies ongoing with four different pharmaceutical companies. The output of our partners' application of MorphoSys's proprietary HuCAL technology is becoming an increasingly visible and important value driver for our Company."

The current program is directed against the target molecule MN, also known as Carbonic Anhydrase or CA IX for short, a tumor associated antigen expressed in many tumor types under hypoxic conditions. The antibody is the first fully human HuCAL-based ADC to enter clinical trials.

ADCs comprise antibodies linked to cytotoxic drugs, and combine the targeting properties of the antibody with the cell-destroying effect of the conjugated drug. In the present program, the HuCAL-derived antibody-drug conjugate incorporates technology licensed to Bayer Schering Pharma from Seattle Genetics.