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. We are developing MOR106 in collaboration with our partner, Galapagos. 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 is planned to be initiated in the first half of 2018.


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.


Clinical Studies

MOR106 has been investigated in a clinical phase 1 study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers and in patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. A phase 2 trial in atopic dermatitis is currently in preparation. 

Currently active clinical trials


The phase 1 clinical study investigated the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile of MOR106 when administered intravenously in single ascending doses (SAD) in healthy volunteers as well as in multiple ascending doses (MAD) in patients suffering from atopic dermatitis. The primary objective of the Phase 1 study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of MOR106. The study’s secondary objective was to characterize the pharmacokinetic profile of MOR106 in patients. Exploratory objectives included the measurement of early signs of efficacy. Results were reported in September 2017 and in February 2018 together with an oral presentation at the AAD 2018 dermatology conference.


Galapagos Collaboration

We are developing MOR106 in collaboration with our partner, Galapagos, and share equally the research and development costs as well as all future economics. MOR106 arises from a strategic discovery and co-development alliance between MorphoSys and Galapagos, in which both companies have contributed their core technologies and expertise. Galapagos has provided the disease-related biology including cellular assays and targets discovered using its target discovery platform. MorphoSys contributed its Ylanthia antibody technology to generate fully human antibodies directed against the target and contributes full CMC development of this compound.


MOR106, an anti-IL-17C antibody, reduces severity of atopic-dermatitis-like skin inflammation in Flaky Tail model, ESDR September 2017
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IL-17C drives skin inflammation in calcipotriol-induced rodent model of atopic dermatitis, EADV September 2017
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Blocking IL-17C reverses the disease signature in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis, World Congress of Inflammation, July 2017
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