MorphoSys AG has announced that it has regained rights to MOR202 from Celgene Corporation. The companies have mutually agreed to terminate their co-development and co-promotion agreement for MOR202.
Clinical development of MOR202, which currently involves a MorphoSys-sponsored phase 1/2a trial in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma patients, will continue as planned. This trial includes combination cohorts with lenalidomide and pomalidomide which will be provided to MorphoSys by Celgene. Financial details were not disclosed.
"Regaining rights to MOR202 opens up new possibilities for MorphoSys", commented Dr. Simon Moroney, CEO of MorphoSys. "MOR202 binds to CD38, a clinically validated target in multiple myeloma, and we know there is a lot of interest in the program. We thank Celgene for working with MorphoSys to advance the clinical development of MOR202. This program is a valuable component of our proprietary portfolio, and we are looking forward to presenting clinical data in the near future."
"We are committed to continuing the development of MOR202 as there is a high unmet medical need for new treatment options in multiple myeloma," added Dr. Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "Based on pre-clinical data, we see significant promise in combining MOR202 with Celgene's lenalidomide and pomalidomide in clinical trials which will commence soon."
MorphoSys aims to release first clinical data from the ongoing phase 1/2a trial at a medical conference in 2015. Cohorts in which MOR202 is combined with lenalidomide and with pomalidomide will be added to the trial during the first half of 2015.
CD38 is a promising target for the treatment of multiple myeloma and potentially other hematological malignancies. An effective antibody against this target could change future treatment regimens in multiple myeloma and also become the basis for treatments in several other forms of cancer.
2015 Guidance Update:
As a result of the termination of the co-development and co-promotion agreement for MOR202, MorphoSys has updated its financial guidance. The Company now expects revenues for the 2015 financial year in the amount of EUR 101 million to EUR 106 million (up from previously EUR 58 million to EUR 63 million) due to the full realization of deferred revenues from the original agreement with Celgene and a one-time payment from Celgene for development costs in 2015.
Based on management's current planning, proprietary R&D expenses are expected to increase to a range of EUR 56 million to EUR 63 million (previously EUR 48 million to EUR 58 million), including the development costs for MOR202 for the remainder of the year. The Company now expects earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of approximately EUR 9 million to EUR 16 million in 2015 (previously EUR -20 million to EUR -30 million).