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AbD Serotec Secures Exclusive Worldwide License to Key Diagnostic Antibody

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MorphoSys AG has announced that its research and diagnostic antibodies unit AbD Serotec has signed an exclusive license agreement with UCL Business PLC (UCLB), the technology development company of University College London (UCL).

The agreement provides AbD Serotec with worldwide exclusive access to a potent anti-PTH antibody for commercial use in research and diagnostic applications. The anti-PTH antibody forms the basis of an existing relationship between AbD Serotec and a diagnostic company which markets clinical parathyroid hormone assays.

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is the most important regulator of calcium levels in the human body. When blood calcium becomes too low, calcium-sensing receptors in the parathyroid gland are activated and parathyroid hormone is secreted, thereby mobilizing calcium release from bone and suppressing calcium loss in urine. Measurement of PTH is important in determining the cause of excessively high or low calcium levels.

High levels may be due to a parathyroid gland tumor, which is usually benign (primary hyperparathyroidism) or secondary hyperparathyroidism, which is usually a result of kidney failure. Low levels may be the result of a failure of the parathyroid gland.

In primary hyperparathyroidism the parathyroid tumor must be removed. PTH assays are used as a routine clinical tool to detect decreases in plasma PTH levels after all diseased tissue has been excised, even whilst surgery is taking place. The test allows a more limited procedure by confirming complete removal of diseased tissue and has reduced the need for repeated surgery. PTH assays in other conditions provide clinicians with important information that assists in managing patients with abnormal calcium levels.

"Our goal is to achieve a market-leading position in those areas we see as our sweet spots. In this particular case, the anti-PTH antibody sourced from our relationship with University College London has already allowed us to forge a first supply agreement with a leading diagnostic company. We have thus decided to expand this strong position and take an exclusive license for this product from UCLB," commented Dieter Feger, Head of AbD Serotec.