MorphoSys and Galapagos expand antibody alliance

Munich-based MorphoSys and Galapagos of Mechelen, Belgium, have agreed to add another antibody target to their alliance in bone and joint diseases, thereby increasing the total number of programmes to four.

Munich-based MorphoSys and Galapagos of Mechelen, Belgium, have agreed to add another antibody target to their alliance in bone and joint diseases, thereby increasing the total number of programmes to four.

The companies are developing antibody therapeutics based on novel modes of action in bone and joint diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. As part of the initial agreement, signed in November 2008, three targets were selected for the collaboration. Antibodies with high specificity towards the first target have been generated and are now being tested in disease-specific in vitro and in vivo experiments.

In parallel, Galapagos, based in Belgium, has applied its target discovery platform to identify additional targets for antibody development. Based on this, Galapagos and MorphoSys have now added a fourth antibody target to the alliance.

"This collaboration provides Galapagos with a platform to develop antibody drugs for our proprietary targets," said Onno van de Stolpe, chief executive of Galapagos. "This, together with more than 40 r&d small molecule programs, solidifies our leading position in discovering innovative approaches to address diseases with unmet medical need."

MorphoSys plans to add up to four new proprietary programmes during 2010, including fully owned and co-development opportunities such as with Galapagos, according to Dr Marlies Sproll, chief scientific officer of MorphoSys.

"Our alliance with Galapagos gives us access to novel disease-related target molecules which could build the basis for first-in-class antibody therapies in the future."




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