MorphoSys AG has announced that it has received a technology milestone payment from Novartis in connection with completion of the installation of its HuCAL antibody platform at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland. The milestone arises in connection with an option in the 2007 agreement between the two companies for Novartis to internalize the HuCAL technology, and comprises a double-digit million euro payment.
The collaboration between the companies is unaffected by the achievement of the milestone, and the number of active programs to be pursued by Novartis as well as the number of MorphoSys employees working on Novartis's projects remains unchanged. The milestone is already included within MorphoSys's projected 2011 revenues of at least EUR 105 million.
"We are delighted to have reached this important milestone with Novartis just three years after the signature of our strategic alliance", commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG. "The payment is of major financial benefit to MorphoSys. Furthermore, this news underscores Novartis's commitment to HuCAL and the ongoing success of our collaboration based on this technology."
In December 2007, MorphoSys and Novartis forged one of the industry's most comprehensive strategic alliances for the discovery and development of biopharmaceuticals. The ten-year deal is potentially worth US$ 1 billion and covers the use of MorphoSys's proprietary HuCAL technology to generate a large number of therapeutic antibody products. MorphoSys receives technology licence fees, R&D funding, and product-related milestones and royalties. Within the collaboration, some 35 therapeutic antibody programs are currently ongoing, five of which are in clinical development.