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MorphoSys Broadens Scope of Collaboration with GeneFrontier

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MorphoSys AG has announced the initiation of a therapeutic target sourcing collaboration in Japan with its Tokyo-based partner GeneFrontier Corporation.

The expansion of the existing alliance with GeneFrontier aims to increase MorphoSys's druggable therapeutic targets sourced from Japanese research institutes and universities, which will in turn further strengthen MorphoSys's drug development capabilities. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, research institutes in Japan will be offered access to HuCAL-based research antibodies against novel disease-related target molecules in exchange for commercialization rights. Antibodies for selected projects will be generated by GeneFrontier using MorphoSys's proprietary HuCAL antibody technology at its research laboratories in Tokyo.

MorphoSys will have access to all research results and data around the selected research programs and the option to secure worldwide rights on such antibody programs.

In September 2004, MorphoSys and GeneFrontier signed a strategic marketing agreement to access the Japanese life science market. To date, this marketing agreement has resulted in three alliances with the Japanese pharmaceutical groups Astellas, Daiichi Sankyo and Shionogi.

In 2006, both parties expanded their marketing alliance to cover the generation of HuCAL-derived fully human antibodies for proteome research and target validation together with a renowned Japanese research organization as well as commercialization of any resulting antibody products.