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MorphoSys Announces Extension of Antibody Collaboration with Bayer

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MorphoSys AG has announced the extension of its collaboration with Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation. The collaboration is extended by five years, with a termination option after the first collaboration year.

Under the terms of the extended agreement, MorphoSys grants Bayer access to its proprietary HuCAL GOLD® antibody library for use in Bayer's drug discovery programs at its research site in West Haven, CT, U.S.A.

Additionally, the two parties undertake to commence up to 25 therapeutic antibody programs should the collaboration run its full course.

Under the terms of the agreement, a minimum of three antibody development programs will be started in 2006.

As consideration, MorphoSys will receive annual user fees and committed R&D funding during the duration of the agreement.

Additionally, MorphoSys stands to receive license and milestone payments for each therapeutic antibody project as well as royalties on any end-products emerging from the collaboration.

The cooperation between MorphoSys and Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation, initiated in December 1999, focuses on the use of human antibodies for applications in the areas of therapy, diagnostics and target research.

In January 2004, both companies entered into a cross licensing agreement in which Bayer changed its in-house research R&D programs to the HuCAL GOLD® antibody technology.

In exchange, MorphoSys gained access to Bayer's human cell line HKB11 for production of HuCAL® based antibodies. 

Under the now extended agreement, MorphoSys receives expanded access to the HKB11 cell line, both for its own and its partners use in the research and commercial production of therapeutic and diagnostic antibody products.

"A central component of our strategy is the creation of long-lasting relationships with our drug development partners and today's news marks yet another successful multi-year extension of an existing collaboration," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys.

"Most importantly, the extended agreement provides a substantial increase in the number of therapeutic antibody programs to be pursued with Bayer in the years to come."