December 09, 2008 / 7:30 am, CET
Improvements to Result in Considerable Time Savings, Higher Diversity, Affinities and Expression Rates
MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) announced today the successful completion of a new proprietary antibody library, HuCAL PLATINUM. Initial results show that the new antibody library, which is approximately three-times larger than the former version, HuCAL GOLD, can provide a more diverse range of fully human antibodies. In addition, the new technology enables the generation of antibodies having higher affinity as well as improved expression rates. The improvements achieved with this next generation antibody library are expected to significantly shorten timelines from antibody discovery to pre-clinical development and result in antibody drug candidates with improved characteristics. The HuCAL PLATINUM library is to be presented today at the 19th IBC Antibody Engineering conference in San Diego, California.
"MorphoSys is committed to furthering its technological leadership and today's news is a landmark event in this regard. Being the latest and most powerful version of phage display antibody libraries developed by MorphoSys, HuCAL PLATINUM sets a new standard for therapeutic antibody generation in this industry," commented Dr. Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG. "The new library is now an integral part of antibody generation at MorphoSys and the company's future product development programs will rely on it. HuCAL PLATINUM will be a key component of our strategy to establish an industry-leading pipeline of antibody-based drugs."
HuCAL PLATINUM contains several significant improvements over the previous version of the HuCAL library. The new library is based on the genetic information of approximately 45 billion different fully human antibodies. Furthermore, a completely new approach to reproducing the natural structure of an antibody's most important region for antigen recognition (the heavy chain CDR3 region, or HCDR3 for short) was achieved using MorphoSys's TRIM technology. The increased library size and a genetic re-design of the HCDR3-region have so far yielded up to a 25-fold greater diversity of initial binders compared with the previous version. This improvement provides an even wider range of promising antibody drug candidates to choose from an initial screen of the library. Additionally, certain sequence motifs on the DNA and protein-level identified as responsible for potentially limiting expression rates have been eliminated or significantly reduced. In total, these sequence updates have resulted so far in 2-fold increased average expression rates of antibodies in the IgG format selected from the HuCAL PLATINUM library and promise to shorten the time to completion of entire antibody generation programs. As before, all resulting HuCAL antibodies retain a fully human composition.
The new library is completely compatible with established screening and selection methods developed by MorphoSys such as AutoCAL®, CysDisplay® and RapMAT®. Additional technology modules of the MorphoSys antibody technology suite currently in development will build on the strengths of the new HuCAL library and provide even faster and more direct access to high affinity antibody drug candidates in the full IgG format. The Company has issued patents and pending patent applications covering various aspects of HuCAL PLATINUM in key markets worldwide, including the US and Europe.
The IBC Antibody Engineering presentation can be seen on MorphoSys's website from Wednesday, December 10 by using the following link: http://www.morphosys.com
Link to conference website: http://www.ibclifesciences.com/antibodyeng/overview.xml
For further information please contact: Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Löser, Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122, firstname.lastname@example.org or Mario Brkulj, Manager Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-454, email@example.com
MorphoSys is a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on the generation of fully human antibodies as a means to discover and develop innovative antibody-based drugs against life-threatening diseases. MorphoSys's goal is to establish HuCAL as the technology of choice for antibody generation in research, diagnostics and therapeutic applications. The Company currently has therapeutic and research alliances with the majority of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies including Boehringer Ingelheim, Centocor/Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer and Roche. Within these partnerships, more than 50 therapeutic antibody programs are ongoing in which MorphoSys participates through exclusive license and milestones payments as well as royalties on any end products. Additionally, MorphoSys is active in the antibody research market through its AbD Serotec business unit. The business unit has operations in Germany (Munich), the U.S. (Raleigh, NC) and U.K. (Oxford). For further information please visit http://www.morphosys.com/
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, RapMAT® and HuCAL PLATINUM® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the MorphoSys group of companies. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment of MorphoSys as of the date of this release and involve risks and uncertainties. Should actual conditions differ from the Company's assumptions, actual results and actions may differ from those anticipated. MorphoSys does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements as far as the wording of the relevant press release is concerned.