MARTINSRIED, GERMANY and MUNCHEN, GERMANY--(Marketwire - September 10, 2012) - MorphoSys AG /
MorphoSys and the University of Melbourne Publish Preclinical Data on the
of GM-CSF in Inflammatory, Arthritic and Osteoarthritic Pain
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MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) and the University
Melbourne today announced the publication of two research papers that
the broad therapeutic potential of antibodies targeting
colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The papers provide evidence that GM-CSF
key mediator of inflammatory, arthritic and osteoarthritic pain. GM-CSF is
target molecule of MorphoSys's MOR103 program, a HuCAL antibody, which is
currently in development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and
multiple sclerosis (MS). Clinical safety and efficacy data from the phase
trial in RA will be published shortly.
The first publication reports an investigation into the involvement of
GM-CSF in inflammatory and arthritic pain. The study assessed the
pain in a widely used model of inflammatory pain as well as in two
arthritis models, using mice lacking the GM-CSF gene. In these studies,
was shown to be absolutely required for pain development in both the
inflammatory pain and arthritis models. The findings were further
a commentary published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology.
A second publication reports on a study that looked at the role of
in experimental osteoarthritis and the pain associated with this disease.
Therapeutic neutralization of GM-CSF using an antibody alleviated joint
within three days and led to significantly reduced cartilage damage. The
research team at the University of Melbourne was led by Professor John
and Dr. Andrew Cook.
In conclusion, the research showed that GM-CSF is a key mediator of
pain, including arthritic pain, and is essential for experimental
and the associated pain.
"Relief from inflammatory pain represents a significant unmet medical need
there is a great demand for better therapies in this area," commented Dr.
Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "The pre-clinical
we performed with the University of Melbourne in indications such as
osteoarthritis points to the potential of our MOR103 program beyond
arthritis and multiple sclerosis, where it is currently in clinical
The published data demonstrate that MOR103 has the potential to become an
important drug in a number of inflammatory indications."
"The relationship between pain, inflammation and tissue damage, for example
arthritis, is complex and not well understood," commented Professor
is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. "Increasing
supports the hypothesis that cytokines such as GM-CSF are not only
mediators but can also be regarded as factors associated with pain
GM-CSF therefore represents a valuable potential target for inflammatory
arthritic pain management and treatment."
About MOR103 and GM-CSF
MOR103 is a HuCAL antibody against human GM-CSF, currently in development
the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Clinical
and efficacy data from the concluded phase 1b/2a trial in RA will be
in the second half of September 2012.
In 2007, MorphoSys signed an agreement with the University of Melbourne,
providing the company with an exclusive license to a patent family covering
therapeutic uses of inhibitors of GM-CSF. The claims of the key patent
Patent No. 7,455,836) are directed to methods of ameliorating the effects
inflammation by administering to a patient an antibody directed against
In 2009, the existing relationship was expanded with an agreement to
on investigating new therapeutic applications for MorphoSys's MOR103
part of the expanded relationship, new patent applications have been filed,
which are intended to broaden the scope of the anti-GM-CSF approach.
 Cook AD, Pobjoy J, Sarros S, Steidl S, Dürr M, Lacey DC, Hamilton
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor is a key mediator in
inflammatory and arthritic pain.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (2012) Jul 24 [Epub ahead of print]
 Onuora S.
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor required for inflammatory
Nature Reviews Rheumatology (2012) [accepted manuscript]
 Cook AD, Pobjoy J, Steidl S, Dürr M, Braine AM, Turner AL, Lacey
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor is a key mediator in
experimental osteoarthritis pain and disease development
Arthritis Research & Therapy (2012) Aug 14 [Epub ahead of print]
About the University of Melbourne / Melbourne Ventures:
Melbourne Ventures Pty Ltd is the technology commercialisation company of
University of Melbourne, one of the top 40 Universities in the world (Times
Higher Education 2008). The University of Melbourne is renowned as
leading biomedical enterprise, training more health professionals and
more nationally competitive grants for biomedical research than any other
Australian university. A wholly owned subsidiary of the University,
Ventures provides commercialisation and IP management expertise across the
breadth of faculties and departments, and is responsible for negotiating
licences and investments for the transfer and commercialisation of
developed technologies. For further information please visit our website at
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.
company's AbD Serotec unit uses HuCAL and other antibody technologies to
generate superior monoclonal antibodies for research and diagnostic
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
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®,
and Ylanthia® and 100 billion high potentials® are registered
Slonomics® is a registered trademark of Sloning BioTechnology GmbH, a
subsidiary of MorphoSys AG.
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements concerning
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 Company's
assumptions, actual results and actions may differ from those anticipated.
MorphoSys does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements
far as the wording of the relevant press release is concerned.
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