Third HuCAL antibody to enter clinical trials in 2010
German biotechnology firm MorphoSys is to receive a milestone payment from Novartis in connection with a phase 1 clinical trial of a HuCAL-derived, fully human antibody in the therapeutic area of ophthalmology.
This is the third HuCAL-derived antibody to move into human clinical trials in 2010, following the advancement of programmes from alliances with Novartis and Centocor Ortho Biotech earlier this year.
‘This promising new programme is our first drug candidate in ophthalmology to enter the clinic, and underscores the range of indications we cover,’ said Marlies Sproll, chief scientific officer of MorphoSys.
‘With three new clinical starts secured in 2010 we are on track to meet our expectations for the full year of up to six clinical milestones with various partners. Overall, the progress of HuCAL drug candidates into human clinical trials is accelerating.’
With the recently announced in-licensing of an Fc-engineered antibody against CD19 from Xencor, MorphoSys now expects up to 15 proprietary and partnered antibody programmes to be in clinical trials by year-end, at least four of which should be in phase 2.