MorphoSys and Daiichi Sankyo to develop HAI antibody therapies

29-Jan-2010

MorphoSys has signed up its first collaborator for HuCAL platinum-based drug discovery in infectious diseases. The company is to work with Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies for hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections.

MorphoSys has signed up its first collaborator for HuCAL platinum-based drug discovery in infectious diseases. The company is to work with Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies for hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections.

The two companies have already worked together in a project that began in 2006 and to date has resulted in four active therapeutic antibody programmes mainly in oncology.

The companies will together use established and new methods to generate optimised, fully human therapeutic antibodies against targets associated with nosocomial infections. Daiichi Sankyo will also fund the development of certain infectious disease-specific technology at MorphoSys, which will be used to identify the most effective antibody-based drugs.

"We see lucrative opportunities for our new HuCAL platinum technology in the infectious disease field, which we intend to exploit within selected partnerships in the years ahead," said Dr Simon Moroney, chief executive of MorphoSys.

Total payments under the agreement include licence fees and r&d funding plus success-based development milestones. MorphoSys will also receive royalties on sales of marketed drugs emerging from the collaboration.

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There is a need for effective, long-lasting drugs against pathogens in difficult to treat nosocomial infections. Current mortality rates in the specific area of focus are reported as 40-60%, due primarily to resistance to existing antibiotics. The global market for such drugs targeted solely at blood stream infections and hospital acquired pneumonia is estimated to exceed US$1bn.

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