Nov 15, 2018, MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, MDAX & TecDAX; NASDAQ: MOR) and I-Mab Biopharma (“I-Mab”), a biotech company focusing exclusively on innovative biologics in immuno-oncology and auto-immune diseases, jointly announced today that they have entered into an exclusive strategic collaboration and regional licensing agreement for MOR210. MOR210 is MorphoSys’s proprietary, preclinical-stage antibody directed against C5aR, which has potential to be developed as an immuno-oncology agent. I-Mab will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize MOR210 in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and South Korea, while MorphoSys will retain rights in the rest of the world. The agreement deepens the existing partnership between two companies, building upon the ongoing collaboration on MorphoSys’s anti-CD38 antibody MOR202.
Under the terms of the agreement, I-Mab will exercise its exclusive license rights for development and commercialization of MOR210 in its territories. With support from MorphoSys, I-Mab will perform and fund all global development activities for MOR210, including clinical trials in China and the U.S., towards clinical proof-of-concept (PoC) in oncology.
MorphoSys will receive an upfront payment of $3.5 million from I-Mab and will be eligible for development and commercial milestone payments of up to $101.5 million, as well as tiered, mid-single-digit royalties on net sales of MOR210 in I-Mab’s territories. In return for the execution of a successful clinical proof-of-concept study, I-Mab is eligible to receive low-single-digit royalties on net sales generated with MOR210 outside its territories and a tiered percentage of sub-licensing revenue.
“This deal builds on our excellent existing relationship with I-Mab for MOR202. We are delighted to grant rights for MOR210 in the Chinese region to I-Mab and enable them to conduct clinical proof-of-concept studies while we focus on other priorities”, said Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. “The deal takes advantage of our very close working relationship to the benefit of both companies”.
“The release of immune checkpoint blockades within the tumor has become a successful strategy to fight cancers. MOR210 is a novel immuno-oncology asset directed against C5aR made by MorphoSys. By adressing this target molecule, we seek to modulate the tumor microenvironment. We look forward to seeing I-Mab drive this interesting program forward into clinical studies, while we retain rights to continue development of MOR210 outside of I-Mab’s territories after clinical proof of concept,” commented Dr. Markus Enzelberger, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG.
“This agreement is part of our continued efforts to develop innovative biologics with First-in-Class and Best-in-Class potentials,” said Dr. Jingwu Zang, Chief Executive Officer of I-Mab. “Through partnership with global innovative companies such as MorphoSys, we expand our innovative oncology portfolio to address unmet medical needs in China and jointly develop drug candidates for the world.”
“We look forward to deepening our productive partnership with MorphoSys. We are thrilled to realize the therapeutic potential of MOR210 as a new treatment in immuno-oncology,” Zang added.
About MOR210 and C5aR
MOR210 is a preclinical-stage human antibody directed against C5aR derived from MorphoSys’s HuCAL Platinum? technology. C5aR, the receptor of the complement factor C5a, is investigated as a potential new drug target in the field of immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases. Tumors have been shown to produce high amounts of C5a which, by recruiting and activating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), is assumed to contribute to an immune-suppressive pro-tumorigenic microenvironment. MOR210 is intended to block the interaction between C5a and its receptor, thereby being expected to neutralize the immune suppressive function of the MDSCs and to enable immune cells to attack the tumor.
About I-Mab Biopharma
I-Mab is a dynamic and fast-growing global player exclusively focused on developing first-in-class and best-in-class biologics in the areas of immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases through internal R&D capabilities and global partnerships. I-Mab’s pipeline is driven by the company’s development strategy to address unmet needs in China and to bring innovative assets to the world. The company is prepared to submit additional INDs in order to initiate clinical trials in China and the US, including multiple Phase II and Phase III studies. I-Mab is on a fast track toward becoming an end-to-end fully integrated biopharma company. The company has been well-recognized by capital markets by successfully raising approximately US $370 million within 12 months, with the recent US$220 million Series C financing representing one of the largest amounts ever raised by an innovative biotech company in China. www.i-mabbiopharma.com
MorphoSys is a late-stage, biopharmaceutical company devoted to the development of innovative and differentiated therapies for patients suffering from serious diseases. Based on its technological leadership in generating antibodies, MorphoSys, together with its partners, has developed and contributed to the development of more than 100 product candidates, of which 29 are currently in clinical development. This broad pipeline spans MorphoSys’s two business segments: Proprietary Development, in which MorphoSys invests in product candidates for its own account, and Partnered Discovery, in which product candidates are developed exclusively for a variety of Pharma and Biotech partners. In 2017, Tremfya? (guselkumab), marketed by Janssen, became the first therapeutic antibody based on MorphoSys’s proprietary technology to receive marketing approval for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in the United States, the European Union and Canada. MorphoSys is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the U.S. stock exchange Nasdaq under the symbol MOR. For regular updates about MorphoSys, visit https://www.morphosys.com.
HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®, RapMAT®, arYla®, Ylanthia®, 100 billion high potentials®, Slonomics®, Lanthio Pharma® and LanthioPep® are registered trademarks of the MorphoSys Group. Tremfya® is a trademark of Janssen Biotech.
This communication contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the MorphoSys group of companies, including the partnering expectations in connection with MOR210 and expectations regarding the further development of MOR210 as a potential treatment option for cancer in the Greater China region, the U.S. and other territories, including the intended targeting of C5aR, the potential biologic functioning of C5aR as a possible target for cancer therapy, potential future payments to be made to MorphoSys under the licensing agreement for MOR210, assumptions regarding the submission of an IND application for MOR210 as well as expectations regarding a potential future clinical development of MOR210 by MorphoSys and/or I-Mab. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgment of MorphoSys as of the date of this release and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which might cause the actual results, financial condition and liquidity, performance or achievements of MorphoSys, or industry results, to be materially different from any historic or future results, financial conditions and liquidity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In addition, even if MorphoSys' results, performance, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which it operates are consistent with such forward-looking statements, they may not be predictive of results or developments in future periods. Among the factors that may result in differences are that MorphoSys's expectations regarding including the partnering expectations in connection with MOR210 and expectations regarding the further development of MOR210 as a potential treatment option for cancer in the Greater China region, the U.S. and other territories, including the intended targeting of C5aR, the potential biologic functioning of C5aR as a possible target for cancer therapy, potential future payments to be made to MorphoSys under the licensing agreement for MOR210, assumptions regarding the submission of an IND application for MOR210 as well as expectations regarding a potential future clinical development of MOR210 by MorphoSys and/or I-Mab, may be false, MorphoSys' reliance on collaborations with third parties, estimating the commercial potential of its development programs and other risks indicated in the risk factors included in MorphoSys’s Registration Statement on Form F-1 and other filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Given these uncertainties, the reader is advised not to place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of publication of this document. MorphoSys expressly disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements in this document to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements, unless specifically required by law or regulation.
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