MOR106 is a human monoclonal IL-17C antibody in development for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and furthermore our first Ylanthia antibody in the clinic

MOR106 is the first publicly disclosed human monoclonal antibody directed against IL-17C in clinical development worldwide. MOR106 is also the first antibody from MorphoSys’s Ylanthia platform to enter clinical development. In preclinical models, IL-17C has been shown to play an important role in inflammatory skin disorders. MOR106 is currently in clinical development for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, a debilitating chronic inflammatory skin disease. A randomized placebo-controlled phase 1 study, testing MOR106 in healthy volunteers and in patients suffering from atopic dermatitis, was successfully completed. A subsequent phase 2 study started in 2018 and a seconde phase 2 study started in the first quarter of 2019


Mode of Action

We believe MOR106 is the first antibody in clinical development worldwide targeting the IL-17C antigen. MOR106 binds to the cytokine IL-17C, a novel target, which is up-regulated in inflammatory skin disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Based on findings from pre-clinical models, IL-17C plays an important and pro-inflammatory role in these skin disorders. Importantly, IL-17C has been shown to be distinct from other members of the IL-17 cytokine family in its biological function, as it is produced by different cell types, predominantly epithelial cells. Results in rodent inflammatory skin models support clinical development of MOR106.
Binding of IL-17C to its receptor consisting of the subunits IL-17-RA and IL-17-RE is assumed to trigger an inflammatory cascade that plays a promoting role in skin diseases. By specifically binding to IL-17C, MOR106 is designed to block the binding of the cytokine to its receptor, thus neutralizing the cytokine’s biological activity.

The figure depicts the suggested mechanism of action of MOR106


The therapeutic field: Targeting inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis

We believe there is a high medical need for the development novel biological therapies in chronic inflammatory skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis, the most severe and common type of eczema, is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease that causes severe itch, dry skin and rashes, predominantly on the face, inner side of the elbows and knees, and on hands and feet. The disease most frequently starts in early childhood and often persists into adulthood, but may also have an adult onset. The main features of atopic dermatitis are the impairment of the skin barrier and dysfunction of the immune system. The disease is also associated with cutaneous hyperactivity to various environmental stimuli. The pruritus (itching) may lead to sleep loss, anxiety, depression and impaired social life, and is therefore considered as the highest therapeutic need in atopic dermatitis.

The U.S. National Eczema Association estimates that atopic dermatitis affects over 30 million Americans or up to 25% of children and 2-3% of adults. 60% of AD patients are diagnosed in the first year of life, and 90% of patients have a disease onset before age five.



We and Galapagos have entered into a worldwide, exclusive agreement with Novartis Pharma AG covering the development and commercialization of the joint program MOR106, on July 19th 2018. MOR106 is an investigational, fully human, IgG1 monoclonal antibody directed against the target IL-17C that was generated in a collaboration between MorphoSys and Galapagos. Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will cooperate to broaden the existing development plan for MOR106 in AD significantly. Novartis will be exclusively holding all rights for commercialization of any products resulting from the agreement.