Glossary

This glossary is intended to explain technical terms used in the description of MorphoSys’s business activities. For further research some articles are linked to Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia.

A

ADR
American Depository Receipt; an ADR is issued by a U.S. depositary bank and represents one or more shares of a foreign stock or a fraction of a share
Affinity
Binding strength between binding partners, e.g., antibody/antigen
Affinity maturation
Increase of mean affinity during immune response
Amino acid
Chemical units or “building blocks” of proteins
Amino acid sequence
Sequence of amino acids in peptides or proteins
Amyloid-beta
target molecule in Alzheimer’s disease therapy; main constituent of amyloid plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients
Antibody
Proteins of the immunes system that recognise antigens and thereby trigger an immune response still exhibiting antigen binding
Antibody engineering
Modification of antibodies to increase affinity and/or specificity; mostly done by gene technology
Antibody fragment
Part of an antibody, comprising antigen-binding domain
Antibody library
A collection of genes that encode corresponding human antibodies
Antigen
Foreign substance stimulating antibody production; binding partner of antibody
Antigen binding site
Part of variable domains of antibodies responsible for antigen binding
Autoimmune disease
Disease caused by an immune response by the body against one of its own tissues, cells, or molecules

B

Bacteriophage
Bacterial virus; virus that infects bacteria
Bioinformatics
Computer-aided analysis of biological systems
Biotechnology
Application of biological methods in technical processes and industrial production

C

CDR
Complementarity Determining Regions – part of the antibody that makes contact with target molecule and determines its specifity
Cell line
Permanent culture of cells used in modern science
Chimerization
Technique to make antibodies of murine origin more human
Clinic
Clinical stage of drug development; tests on human patients
Cloning
Recombination and introduction of (mostly foreign) DNA into host cells and subsequent amplification
COGS
Cost of goods sold; costs for antibody material produced by the AbD segment
Corporate Governance
System of relations between the shareholders, Board of Directors and management of a company

D

DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid: carrier of genetic information; blueprint for proteins
Domain
Parts of proteins with defined three-dimensional structure and/or defined function

E

E.coli
Escherichia coli; bacteria, often used as host cells
EMEA
European Medicines Evaluation Agency - European agency for the evaluation of medicinal products; Official website
Epitope
Binding site
Eukaryote
A cell with distinct nucleus, in comparison to prokaryote
Expression
Conversion of genetic information in corresponding protein
Expression library
Gene library suitable for expression of proteins encoded thereby

F

FDA
Food and Drug Administration; Official website
Foreign genes
Genes of foreign organism introduced in host cells
Freefloat
Proportion of a company’s listed shares that is freely available for trading
Functional genomics
Analysis not only of sequence, but of functional interaction of genetic information and/or of the proteins encoded thereby; important step in identifying novel targets
Fusion protein
Proteins composed of different parts

G

Gene
Part of DNA encoding a defined structure (e.g., a protein) or a function
Gene sequence
Sequence of gene components, called nucleotides
Gene synthesis
Synthesis of genes by assembly of nucleotides
Gene technology
Sector of biotechnology: exploration and application of targeted modification and recombination of genes
Genome
Total DNA of an organism (genes, genetic signalling structures as well as additional DNA sections)
Genome project
Specifically: determination of the whole human genome
Genomics
Analysis of composition and interaction of genetic information
Genotype
Entirety of genetic features
Glycosylation
Modification of a protein by adding sugar molecules to particular amino acids in the protein
Gold standard
Best and most reliable method or technology currently available; industry standard
GRS study
Annual German Biotechnology Industry Remuneration Study

H

HAMA
HAMA (Human Anti-Mouse Antibody) response, prevents the therapeutic use of mouse monoclonal antibodies
HGB
German accounting standards
Host cell
Cells for amplification or expression of foreign DNA
HuCAL
Human Combinatorial Antibody Library; Proprietary antibody library enabling rapid generation of specific human antibodies for all applications
Human Genome Project
Worldwide program to document the entire DNA sequence of the human genome immune defense reaction stimulation e.g. of antibody production as reaction on being confronted with antigens
Humanisation
Addresses the problem of HAMA response, involves the genetic transfer of mouse CDRs (which are responsible for antigen binding) into human frameworks of a variable region; also known as CDR-grafting
Hybridoma
Fused cancer and immune cell used for antibody production

I

IFRS
International Financial Reporting Standards; Future EU: wide standards produced by the IASB
Immune system
Collection of mechanisms within an organism that protects against infection by identifying and killing pathogens
Immunization
Generation of antibodies by administering antigen
Immunogenicity
The ability of an antigen to induce humoral and/or cell mediated immune responses
Immunoglobulin
See antibody
in vitro
in a test tube
in vivo
in a living organism

L

Library
Here: collection of a multitude of different molecules (gene library; peptide library; protein, especially antibody library) for screening and/or selection
Ligand
Binding partner
Lymphoma
Certain form of blood cancer

M

Mini-antibody
Multimeric antibody fragments formed by association of smaller antigen-binding fragments
Modularity
Structure formed by modular, interchangeable building blocks
Monoclonal antibody
Homogeneous antibody originating from a single clone, produced by hybridoma cell
Multiple myeloma
Type of cancer that develops in a subset of white blood cells called plasma cells formed in the bone marrow
Multiple sclerosis
Disease of the central nervous system characterized by the destruction of nerve fibers

P

Peptide
Short chain of amino acids
Phage
see bacteriophage
Phage display technology
Screening technology; presentation of peptides/proteins of surface of phages
Phage genome
Collection of genes that form the genetic code of the phage
Phage library
Collection of phages presenting library of peptides/proteins on the surface
Phase I
Part of clinical development in which an investigational new drug (IND) is tested on healthy humans in order to test its potential toxicity, its pharmacokinetic properties and its suitable dosage
Phase II
Part of clinical development in which short term efficacy and potential side effects of an investigational new drug (IND) are tested on a small number of patients suffering from the disease targeted by the drug
Phase III
Part of clinical development which is performed on a large number of patients to test the safety, efficacy and optimal dosage of an investigational new drug in the context of a complete therapy
Phenotype
Appearance; entirety of features resulting from interactions of genetic information
Preclinic
Preclinical stage of drug development; tests in animal models as well as in laboratory assays
Proteome
Protein complement expressed by a genome
Protein
Polymer consisting of amino acids, e.g., antibodies, enzymes
Proteomics
Analysis of functions and interactions of proteins of an organism
Psoriasis
Chronic, immune system: related disease, causing inflammation and damage to involved tissues, primarily the skin

R

RapMAT
Maturation process; proprietary technology of MorphoSys
Reagent
Substance used in research and diagnostic applications
Recombinant
Formed by (re-)combination of parts of one or different starting DNA molecules
Rheumatoid arthritis
Inflammatory disease of the joints
RNA
Ribonucleic acid: form of genetic information; takes part in translation of DNA into proteins
Royalties
Percentage share of ownership of the revenue generated by drug products

S

Screening
Searching in libraries for molecules with desired properties
Sequence analysis
analysis of sequence of individual gene or protein components
single-chain Fv
Antibody fragment; comprises both variable domains responsible for antigen binding fused as single protein chain
Specificity
Property of e.g., antibodies, to discriminate between different, but similar antigens

T

Target
Target molecule for therapeutic intervention, e.g., on surface of diseased cell
TecDAX
Index of the thirty largest technology companies listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
Toxin
Poisonous substance
Transfection
Process of introducing foreign genes into a host organism
Translation
Formation of proteins by translation of genetic information in organism
TRIM
Trinucleotide-directed mutagenesis: method for random mutagenesis of peptides or proteins
Trinucleotide
So-called codon consisting of three nucleotides; corresponds on DNA level to amino acid