MARTINSRIED, GERMANY and MUNICH, GERMANY--(Marketwire - February 13, 2013) - MorphoSys AG /
MorphoSys and Heptares Sign Alliance to Develop Antibody Therapeutics
GPCRs. Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE.
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Collaboration Harnesses Heptares' StaRs® to Open up New Target
Therapeutic Antibodies from MorphoSys' Ylanthia® Platform
MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) and UK-based
Therapeutics, the leading GPCR drug discovery and development company,
signed an agreement to discover novel antibody therapeutics targeting G
protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are membrane proteins involved in
a broad range
of biological processes and diseases.
"GPCRs comprise the single largest class of targets for
currently on the market. Technical challenges have meant that GPCRs have
largely intractable to therapeutic antibody development. We believe
combining Heptares' unique StaR(® )platform for generating
stable GPCRs as
antigens with our antibody discovery technology, we will be able to
immense potential of therapeutic antibodies against GPCRs," commented Dr.
Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG.
"By creating StaRs, we believe we have overcome a major challenge facing
molecule and biologics discovery efforts focused on GPCRs. This has
to create partnerships with leading pharma and biotech companies in both
as well as to advance our own pipeline. We are therefore very excited to
this new partnership with MorphoSys, one of the world's most advanced
therapeutic companies, to further leverage the power of our StaR®
into the antibody space," said Malcolm Weir, Chief Executive
Under the terms of the agreement, Heptares will generate stabilized
(StaRs) for a set of GPCR disease targets proposed by MorphoSys. MorphoSys
then apply its Ylanthia antibody library to discover and develop
therapeutics against these StaRs. MorphoSys has the right to sublicense to
parties access to these targets in conjunction with therapeutic
candidates. Heptares will receive upfront and research funding payments,
share of future sublicensing revenues generated by MorphoSys. Heptares
chose Ylanthia to develop and commercialize one therapeutic antibody
MorphoSys against a GPCR target selected by Heptares. In this case,
eligible to receive license fees, milestones and royalties on any
antibody developed by Heptares.
Heptares' StaRs offer a breakthrough solution to the main challenge
with making antibodies against GPCRs, namely producing purified and
folded protein for use as an antigen against which antibodies are raised.
enable antibody discovery by stabilizing the GPCR protein outside the
membrane in the correct conformation. StaRs preserve biologically
epitopes thereby enabling generation of a diverse panel of
antibodies. This has previously proved very difficult for GPCRs, which
their conformational and functional integrity when removed from their
environment in cell membranes.
MorphoSys's Ylanthia antibody library comprises more than 100 billion
fully human antibodies, which makes it the industry's largest known
library. Ylanthia's genetic composition translates into unprecedented
diversity of the antibodies and offers optimized developability
library's diversity is expected to result in antibodies against
inaccessible target molecules and to provide unique epitope coverage.
The GPCR superfamily is the largest and single most important family of
targets in the human body. It plays a central role in many biological
and is linked to a wide range of disease areas. GPCRs are expressed in
type of cell in the body where their function is to transmit signals
outside the cell across the membrane to signaling pathways within the
between cells and between organ systems. There are over 375
non-chemosensory GPCRs encoded in the human genome, of which 225 have
known ligands and 150 are
orphan targets. GPCRs are the site of action of 25-30% of currently
drugs. Six of the top ten and 60 of the top 200 best-selling drugs in the
2010 target GPCRs. Seven of 37 drugs approved in 2012 by the US Food &
Administration target GPCRs. By the end of 2012, 37 therapeutic
been approved and are being marketed in countries around the world.
date only one GPCR-targeting antibody has been approved.
MorphoSys developed HuCAL, the most successful antibody library technology
the pharmaceutical industry. By successfully applying this and other
technologies, MorphoSys has become a leader in the field of therapeutic
antibodies, one of the fastest-growing drug classes in human healthcare.
Together with its pharmaceutical partners, MorphoSys has built a
pipeline of more than 70 human antibody drug candidates for the treatment
cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease, to name just a few.
its ongoing commitment to new antibody technology and drug development,
MorphoSys is focused on making the healthcare products of tomorrow.
listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol MOR. For regular
about MorphoSys, visit http://www.morphosys.com.
About Heptares Therapeutics:
Heptares creates new medicines targeting clinically important, yet
challenging, GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors), a superfamily of drug
receptors linked to a wide range of human diseases. Leveraging our advanced
structure-based drug design technology platform, we have built an exciting
discovery and development pipeline of novel drug candidates, which have the
potential to transform the treatment of serious diseases, including
disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, migraine and diabetes. Our
pharmaceutical partners include Shire, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Takeda,
and MorphoSys, and we are backed by MVM Life Science Partners, Clarus
Novartis Venture Fund and Takeda Ventures. To learn more about Heptares,
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®,
Ylanthia® and 100 billion high potentials® are registered
Slonomics® is a registered trademark of Sloning BioTechnology
subsidiary of MorphoSys AG.
StaRs® is a registered trademark of Heptares Therapeutics
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements
MorphoSys group of companies. The forward-looking statements contained
represent the judgment of MorphoSys as of the date of this release and
risks and uncertainties. Should actual conditions differ from the
assumptions, actual results and actions may differ from those
MorphoSys does not intend to update any of these forward-looking
far as the wording of the relevant press release is concerned.
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Source: MorphoSys AG via Thomson Reuters ONE