MorphoSys AG has announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a patent covering the company's most proprietary compound MOR103. The new patent (US 7,867,495) covers MorphoSys's HuCAL antibody against GM-CSF as well as pharmaceutical compositions comprising the same, and has a scheduled expiry date in 2026, not including any potential extensions.
This newly issued patent complements a US patent granted in 2008 covering medical uses of antibodies against GM-CSF, to which MorphoSys has exclusive access under a license agreement with the University of Melbourne. Together, the two patent families provide strong intellectual property protection for the MOR103 program.
"The protection of our intellectual property is a central part of MorphoSys's business model," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG. "We will continue to strengthen still further our intellectual property position in antibody-based products and services, particularly in our most important markets Europe, the USA and Asia."
Human GM-CSF (Granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor), the target molecule of MorphoSys's lead program MOR103, is implicated in a number of inflammatory and other conditions including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). The HuCAL-derived, fully human antibody is currently being tested in a clinical Phase 1b/2a trial in RA patients. Additionally, MorphoSys plans to start a Phase 1b safety study of MOR103 in multiple sclerosis patients in 2011.