Lanthio Pharma signed a technology alliance deal with MorphoSys to jointly develop LanthioPep™, Lanthio Pharma’s drug discovery platform technology.

The LanthioPep technology can be used to identify lantipeptides, a class of peptides with drug-like properties. Lanthio Pharma and MorphoSys will apply their respective technologies to establish lantipeptide libraries. Under the technology alliance, MorphoSys receives preferred rights to exclusively license the LanthioPep technology for drug discovery including drug discovery services.

“Therapeutic peptides and especially so-called stapled or constrained peptides comprise an emerging compound class, which offers the potential to address multiple target classes and disease categories currently beyond reach for therapeutic proteins or small molecules,” commented Marlies Sproll, Ph.D., CSO of MorphoSys. “The combination of Lanthio Pharma’s platform and our expertise in intelligent library design offers unique opportunities for both companies and that’s what got us excited.”

Lanthio Pharma, a spin-off of the University of Groningen launched in 2011 with seed funding from BioGeneration Ventures, will continue to focus on building its pipeline of lantipeptide drugs. This alliance, for which financial details were not disclosed, follows on the outlicensing deal of Lanthio Pharma’s lantipeptide PanCyte to Tarix Pharmaceuticals in February of this year. PanCyte is expected to start clinical testing in 2013.

In parallel, Lanthio Pharma has raised €4.8 million (approximately $6.2 million) in the first close of a Series A investment round by a syndicate led by BioGeneration Ventures and INKEF Capital that also included MorphoSys and Hanzepoort as investors. The Series A round will remain open for one additional investor.

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