Candidate licensed from Xencor for B-cell malignancies is currently undergoing Phase I evaluation.

Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) is to provide MorphoSys with process development and additional manufacturing for its early clinical-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia candidate MOR208 and other drugs. MOR208 is an in-licensed antibody currently undergoing Phase I evaluation in the U.S. by MorphoSys’ partner Xencor.

“Adding an additional supplier to our proprietary development setup will help to prevent any bottlenecks in clinical trial supply in the years ahead,” notes Marlies Sprol, Ph.D., MorphoSys CSO. “Additionally, establishing a commercial manufacturing process with BI early in the development of MOR208 will clearly increase the value of this program.”

MOR208 (formerly XmAb®5574) is a humanized CD19-targeting monoclonal antibody in development for the potential treatment of B-cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases. MorphoSys negotiated an exclusive worldwide license to the candidate from Xencor in June 2010. Under terms of the deal, Xencor received $13 million up front. The firms are collaborating on the Phase I study in CLL patients. If the study is successful, MorphoSys will shoulder all further clinical development of the antibody.

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