December 20, 2001 / 12:00 am, CET
MorphoSys AG (Neuer Markt: MOR) today announced that it had signed a major strategic collaboration with Schering AG, for the development of antibody therapeutics and in-vivo diagnostics. As part of the strategic alliance, Schering will purchase a 10% equity stake in MorphoSys. In addition to the upfront equity investment, MorphoSys will receive committed license fees and R&D funding over the three-year collaboration term.
Schering and MorphoSys plan to combine their resources over the next three years to exclusively pursue a minimum of five therapeutic and several in-vivo diagnostics projects, which are intended to commence immediately. Furthermore, the two partners will jointly undertake research to identify additional potential therapeutic and diagnostics targets emerging from Schering´s genomics program. For the duration of the collaboration term, MorphoSys will work exclusively with Schering in the field of in-vivo diagnostics.
Over the lifetime of the agreement, MorphoSys has the potential to receive in excess of € 200 million including milestone payments, should all the candidate antibodies in the agreement be successfully developed. In addition to these payments, Schering will pay royalties to MorphoSys for any therapeutic or diagnostic products emerging from the collaboration. Underscoring the strategic nature of the agreement, Schering will purchase 357,880 MorphoSys AG shares, or approximately 10% of MorphoSys share capital, which will arise from an authorized capital increase pursuant to Section 186 § 3 of the German Stock Corporation Act.
Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG, commented, "We are delighted to have established such a broad and strategic relationship with Schering. This partnership presents MorphoSys with an exciting opportunity to develop antibody-based therapeutics as well as to venture into an area new for us, in-vivo diagnostics, with a leading partner in the industry. MorphoSys is committed to developing antibody therapeutics for its partners and itself, and this deal represents a cornerstone in that effort. "
"The collaboration with MorphoSys adds an important element to our enabling technology platforms," said Professor Bjoern Wallmark, Head of Corporate Research at Schering AG. "It will provide a complement to our established processes in the area of lead compound discovery and thereby enable us to rapidly enter antibody based therapies. The access to the proprietary technology of MorphoSys will provide us with an opportunity in promising new drug discovery."
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 AG (Berkeley, California/USA), Biogen Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts/USA), Centocor Inc. (Malvern, Pennsylvania/USA), DuPont Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Wilmington, Delaware/USA), Eos Biotechnology Inc. (San Francisco, California/USA), GPC Biotech AG (Munich/Germany), Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Basel/Switzerland), ImmunoGen Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts/USA), Millennium Inc. (Cambridge, Mass/USA), Oridis Biomed GmbH (Graz/Austria) and ProChon Biotech Ltd. (Rehovot/Israel).
Schering AG is a research-based pharmaceutical company. Its activities are focused on four business areas: Fertility Control & Hormone Therapy, Diagnostics & Radiopharmaceuticals, Dermatology as well as Specialized Therapeutics for disabling diseases in the fields of the central nervous system, oncology and cardiovascular. As a global player with innovative products Schering AG aims for leading positions in specialized markets worldwide. With in-house R&D and supported by an excellent global network of external partners, Schering AG is securing a promising product pipeline. Using new ideas, Schering AG aims to make a recognized contribution to medical progress and strives to improve the quality of life.
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.
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Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser
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Tel.: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-5122