September 08, 2005 / 12:00 am, CEST
MorphoSys AG (Frankfurt: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) and Shionogi & Co., Ltd. announced today that they have signed a three year license agreement on the use of MorphoSys’s HuCAL® technology. Under the terms of the agreement, MorphoSys grants Shionogi access to its HuCAL GOLD® antibody library for use in Shionogi’s pharmaceutical drug discovery programs. In return, MorphoSys stands to receive an up-front payment and annual user fees during the life span of the agreement. Further financial details were not disclosed.
During the three-year term of the agreement, Shionogi will have access to the MorphoSys HuCAL GOLD® library at one of its research sites. HuCAL GOLD® is the latest and most powerful antibody library developed by MorphoSys. The technology utilizes a unique and innovative concept for the in vitro generation of highly specific and fully human antibodies. It is ideally suited for a broad range of purposes reaching from target validation to drug development. In line with a business structure re-engineering plan initiated in 2000, Shionogi has reinforced research and development and marketing in its core ethical drug business. In 2004, Shionogi generated net sales of around US$2 billion.
“The contract signed today is a significant milestone in MorphoSys’s effort to expand geographically into the Japanese market and is a direct outcome of the marketing cooperation signed with GeneFrontier Corporation last year”, commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. “This announcement marks another successful step in our strategy of enabling partners to utilize our proprietary technology in their R&D programs.”
Shionogi & Co., Ltd. is a major research-driven Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer. The company’s primary businesses are research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and import and export sales of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Shionogi follows a basic policy of continually providing the superior medicines essential to people’s health. Shionogi’s research laboratories aggressively apply cutting-edge scientific technologies such as ultra-high-throughput screening and genomic drug discovery to facilitate the efficient development of innovative pharmaceuticals. In addition, Shionogi actively collaborates with external research institutions to strengthen basic technologies for drug discovery and drug discovery target searches. For more details, please visit www.shionogi.co.jp.
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 agreements and/or research collaborations with Bayer (Berkeley, California/USA), Boehringer Ingelheim (Ingelheim, Germany), Bristol-Myers Squibb (New Jersey/USA), Centocor Inc. (Malvern, Pennsylvania/USA), GPC Biotech AG (Munich/Germany), Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Basel/Switzerland), ImmunoGen Inc. (Cambridge, Massachusetts/USA), Novartis AG (Basel, Switzerland), Pfizer Inc. (Delaware/USA), ProChon Biotech Ltd. (Rehovot/Israel), Schering AG (Berlin/Germany) and Xoma Ltd. (Berkeley, California/USA). Additionally, MorphoSys is active in the antibody research market through its Antibodies by Design business unit. Antibodies by Design was founded in 2003 for the purpose of exploiting the MorphoSys non-therapeutic antibody markets. MorphoSys’ activities in the research antibody segment were significantly strengthened through the acquisition of the U.K. and U.S.-based Biogenesis Group in January 2005.
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.
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
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-454
Fax: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-5454