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Daiichi Sankyo and MorphoSys Expand Collaboration with two new Cancer-Related Antibody Programs

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MorphoSys AG has announced the start of a further two oncology-focused therapeutic antibody programs within its collaboration with DAIICHI SANKYO COMPANY, LIMITED. By exercising two options available under the parties' existing agreement, Daiichi Sankyo has selected two new target molecules against which MorphoSys will generate antibodies using its proprietary HuCAL technology.

Daiichi Sankyo will carry out pre-clinical and clinical development and has worldwide marketing rights for all resulting products. MorphoSys receives exclusive license fees and stands to receive milestones and royalties for the therapeutic antibody programs, as per the terms of the companies' existing agreement. Further financial details were not disclosed.

"The addition of these new oncology programs promises to strengthen still further our partnered antibody pipeline", commented Dr. Simon Moroney, CEO of MorphoSys. "We look forward to working with Daiichi Sankyo on the programs, and making progress towards our declared goal of establishing a broad therapeutic pipeline of HuCAL-based antibody drugs."

The two companies have been engaged in joint application of MorphoSys's advanced phage display and human antibody library technologies since March 2006. In March 2008, Daiichi Sankyo exercised its option to extend the contracting period until March 2011.

The collaboration encompasses four active therapeutic antibody programs. In May 2008, Daiichi Sankyo further strengthened its pipeline of novel targeted therapeutics in oncology by acquiring the German biotechnology company U3 Pharma AG. The cancer-related target molecules, which build the basis for the HuCAL-based programs, were part of U3 Pharma's portfolio.