January 27, 2003 / 12:00 am, CET
MorphoSys AG (Neuer Markt: MOR) today announced that it had signed an agreement with Lonza Biologics (SWX: LONN.VX) for production and supply of clinical grade antibody drugs derived from MorphoSys HuCAL® technology within the next five years. The agreement regulates access to Lonza’s process development and manufacturing capacity for future antibody projects for both MorphoSys’ own and partnered therapeutic antibody projects. Financial details were not disclosed.
MorphoSys plans to partner its current proprietary therapeutic antibody projects before entering clinical trials. MorphoSys will offer its partners manufacturing capacities at Lonza, and thereby increasing the value of its preclinical deals.
“This is an important component of our future partnering strategy,” said Dr. Thomas von Rüden, Chief Scientific Officer, MorphoSys AG. “The access to manufacturing capacities will significantly increase the value of MorphoSys antibody programs.”
“We are very happy to be working with MorphoSys on these early clinical development programmes”, said Marcus Gemuend, CEO of Lonza Group. “Lonza Biologics wants to continue to service biopharmaceutical companies needs at every stage in the development of their products. We recognize the importance of these projects to our customers and want to work with them to maximize their future success.”
MorphoSys develops and applies innovative technologies for the production of synthetic antibodies, which accelerate drug discovery and target characterization. Founded in 1992, the Company's proprietary Human Combinatorial Antibody Library (HuCAL®) technology is used by researchers worldwide for human antibody generation. The Company currently has licensing and research collaborations with Bayer (Berkeley, California/USA), Biogen Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts/USA), Bristol-Myers Squibb (Wilmington, Delaware/USA), Centocor Inc. (Malvern, Pennsylvania/USA), GPC Biotech AG (Munich/Germany), Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Basel/Switzerland), ImmunoGen Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts/USA), Oridis Biomed GmbH (Graz/Austria), ProChon Biotech Ltd. (Rehovot/Israel), Schering AG (Berlin/Germany) and Xoma Ltd. (Berkeley, California/USA).
Statements included in this press release which are not historical in nature are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the safe harbour provided by Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words including “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “expects” and similar expressions. The company cautions readers that forward-looking statements, including without limitation those relating to the company’s future operations and business prospects, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Factors that may affect future operations and business prospects include, but are not limited to, clinical and scientific results and developments concerning corporate collaborations and the company’s proprietary rights and other factors described in the prospectus relating to the company’s recent public offering.
About LONZA Biologics:
Lonza Biologics is the world's leading contract manufacturer of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins derived from mammalian cell culture. For over 20 years Lonza Biologics has provided clients with complete process development, manufacturing and analytical services. These services include cell line construction and development through cell banking to large-scale cGMP manufacture. Full quality and regulatory support is available for products in the clinic or for in-market supply. Lonza Biologics operates licensed cGMP production facilities in Europe and the United States at up to 5,000L scale with 20,000L scale coming on line in mid 2004.
Lonza Group is a Life Sciences driven chemical company headquartered in Switzerland, with sales of CHF 2.5 billion in 2001 and operating 18 production and R&D facilities in 8 countries. It employs 6 400 people worldwide and is the leading supplier of active chemical ingredients, intermediates and biotechnology solutions to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. It also offers a broad catalogue of organic intermediates for a wide range of applications such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, vitamins, food and feedstuff, dyes and pigments, adhesives and fragrances. Furthermore the Group manufactures specialty biocides and oleochemicals and develops and produces specific polymer intermediates, unsaturated polyester-resins, compounds and composites. For more information on Lonza Group please visit the company’s website at www.lonzagroup.com
For further information, please contact:
Chief Financial Officer
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-439
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-5309
Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser
Manager Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-5122