MorphoSys AG and Boehringer Ingelheim announced today the signing of a biopharmaceutical manufacturing agreement for therapeutic antibodies. The agreement covers the process development and manufacturing of additional clinical material for MorphoSys's proprietary MOR208 program and other drug candidates. MOR208, a potent monoclonal anti-CD19 antibody, is in development for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and potentially other B-cell malignancies. The program is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 clinical trial in the USA by MorphoSys's partner Xencor Inc.
"Adding an additional supplier to our proprietary development set-up will help to prevent any bottlenecks in clinical trial supply in the years ahead", commented Dr. Marlies Sproll, Chief Scientific Officer of MorphoSys AG. "Additionally, establishing a commercial manufacturing process with Boehringer Ingelheim early in the development of MOR208 will clearly increase the value of this program."
Simon Sturge, Corporate Senior Vice President of the Biopharmaceuticals Division at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: "We believe that the combination of MorphoSys's successful track record in the discovery and clinical development of antibody-based therapeutics and our proven competence in technical development and manufacturing will be an optimal fit. We look forward to supporting the team at MorphoSys with robust manufacturing processes for clinic and market supply."
"Boehringer Ingelheim is a world-class contract manufacturing organization and we are delighted to sign this agreement with them today", commented Dr. Arndt Schottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "Our proprietary pipeline currently comprises eight fully-owned therapeutic antibodies in addition to two co-development candidates selected within the Novartis alliance. With MOR103, a HuCAL-based anti-inflammatory antibody targeting GM-CSF, and MOR202, a HuCAL-based cancer antibody targeting CD38, as well as MOR208, we will investigate three proprietary drug programs in clinical trials in 2011."