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MorphoSys Receives Research Grant to Advance Anti-CD38 Cancer Program MOR202


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MorphoSys AG has announced that it has been awarded a grant by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF. The funding of approximately EUR 1 million supports MorphoSys in accelerating the development of its HuCAL-based cancer program MOR202 into clinical development for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

As part of the program, the Company plans to explore relevant biomarkers for the anti-CD38 approach in collaboration with Klinikum rechts der Isar, the university hospital of Munich Technical University.

The program is part of Munich's biotechnology initiative "m4 - Personalized Medicine and Targeted Therapies - A New Dimension in Drug Development in the Munich Region", which this year received high-tech cluster status in a German government funding competition.

MOR202 is a fully human, HuCAL antibody directed against CD38, a membrane-bound glycoprotein that is a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of multiple myeloma and certain leukemias. In pre-clinical studies, MOR202 effectively killed cancer cells from primary patient tumor material and certain hematologic cancer cell lines.

Furthermore, preclinical efficacy was shown by demonstrating inhibition of tumor growth in SCID-mouse xenograft tumor models. The program is expected to move into clinical trials in Q1 2011.

"We believe that MOR202 has a very competitive profile and distinct advantages over similar programs in the industry. As part of the research program with Klinikum rechts der Isar we plan to explore certain biomarkers for this new therapeutic approach, thereby further differentiating our program," commented Dr. Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "This grant supports the MOR202 program, for which we are on track to file a clinical trial application in Europe before the end of 2010."

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