MOR208 (formerly known as XmAb®5574) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the antigen CD19 for treatment of B cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases. The program is currently in phase 2 clinical development.
MOR208 has been engineered to possess significantly enhanced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), thus improving a key mechanism for tumor cell killing and offering potential for enhanced efficacy compared to traditional antibodies for the treatment of cancer.
In June 2010, MorphoSys AG and US-based biopharmaceutical company Xencor signed a worldwide exclusive license and collaboration agreement for the antibody. The agreement provided MorphoSys with an exclusive worldwide license to XmAb5574 for the treatment of cancer and other indications.
In preclinical studies, MOR208 was well tolerated at various dose levels, elicited immediate and sustained B-cell depletion, and showed strong anti-tumor potency, anti-proliferative and apoptotic activity. B-cell malignancies, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) afflict 150.000 in the seven major markets each year. The MOR208 target (CD19) is expressed more broadly and earlier in B-cell development than CD20, the target of the marketed cancer drug Rituxan®, therefore potentially allowing for an even broader use of MOR208 as compared to Rituxan®.
MOR208 has shown in a Phase 1/2a trial encouraging signs of preliminary anti-tumor activity and an acceptable safety and tolerability profile in patients with high-risk, heavily pretreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). In 2013, MorphoSys has initiated Phase 2 clinical trials of MOR208 in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.