Under the terms of the agreement, Genesis will continue to use HuCAL-based antibodies originally generated by the MorphoSys business unit AbD Serotec against the human fibroblast growth factor receptor FGFR5 for target validation and pre-clinical studies as part of its proprietary Zyrogen program.
In this program, Genesis is investigating the development of therapeutic antibodies specific for the target molecule FGFR5, which is implicated in various autoimmune and bone-related diseases.
Based on the scientific data generated by Genesis during the collaboration, the parties will discuss further development of the therapeutic program. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
The underlying target molecule FGFR5 (fibroblast growth factor receptor 5), a cell surface protein expressed by stromal cells of the hemopoietic system, was originally identified by Genesis from its proprietary EST databases.
Genesis has carried out extensive studies to characterize the molecule's interactions with different cell types and tissues, suggesting that it is a therapeutic target for diseases such as osteoporosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
With the signing of this agreement, Genesis will continue to extend its strong patent position around this molecule using the HuCAL antibodies and will further validate its approach through in vitro and in vivo studies as a necessary prelude to a clinical development program.
"The collaboration with Genesis provides us with access to an innovative and scientifically attractive target molecule which may lead to lucrative future commercial opportunities for MorphoSys," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG.
"At the same time, it is a further example of the synergies arising between our two business segments, as satisfied AbD Serotec customers decide to partner with MorphoSys for the development of their therapeutic or diagnostic projects," Dr. Moroney added.
"AbD Serotec have provided excellent technical advice and service", said Stephen Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Research. "We value the opportunity to work with MorphoSys Group to develop our therapeutic monoclonal antibodies which have great potential to help treat several diseases where there are limited treatments."