MorphoSys plans to expand its pipeline with up to four new programs this year.

MorphoSys and Galapagos have added a fourth antibody target to their bone and joint disease agreement. The firms’ partnership, signed in 2008, is focused on the discovery and development of antibodies based on novel modes of action in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis.

They claim highly specific antibodies against the first target are now being tested in disease-specific in vitro and in vivo studies. Galapagos has also been applying its target discovery platform to identify additional targets for antibody development, hence the expansion of the collaboration.

“In 2010 we plan to add up to four new proprietary programs including both fully owned and co-development opportunities such as with Galapagos,” states Marlies Sproll, Ph.D., Morphosys’ CSO. “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.”

The alliance between MorphoSys and Galapagos spans all activities from target discovery through to completion of proof-of-concept clinical trials.  Under the terms of the agreement, the companies are sharing R&D costs and will split future revenues equally. 

Galapagos is providing antibody targets implicated in bone and joint disease, and MorphoSys is contributing its HuCAL antibody technologies to generate relevant fully human antibodies. After successful validation, the alliance will select antibody programs for preclinical and clinical development. Following proof of concept in human trials, programs will be partnered for subsequent development, approval, and marketing.

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