MorphoSys and Celgene have formed a strategic alliance to co-develop a fully human monoclonal antibody, MOR202, for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) globally and to then co-promote the results in Europe.
A Human Combinatorial Antibody Library (HuCAL) antibody targeting CD38 to treat patients with MM and certain leukemias, MOR202 is currently being evaluated in a Phase I/IIa trial in patients with relapsed or refractory myeloma.
The collaboration is focused on advancing MOR202 for patients with multiple myeloma and other indications by sharing the costs on a 1/3:2/3 basis.
Celgene haematology and oncology executive vice president and global head Mark Alles said, "This collaboration with MorphoSys enables us to rapidly advance a promising therapeutic antibody in a disease where significant progress is being made, but where patients continue to need new treatment options."
According to the deal, Celgene will make an upfront license fee of €70.8m ($92m) to MorphoSys and will invest €46.2m ($60m) to subscribe for new shares of the latter.
The transaction is subject to receipt of approval from the US antitrust authorities under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.
Retaining a 50/50 profit sharing in its co-promotion territory, MorphoSys is eligible for additional development, regulatory and sales milestones, in addition to sales-based royalties outside the co-promotion territory.
MorphoSys chief development officer Dr Arndt Schottelius said, "MOR202 has become a very attractive asset in our proprietary portfolio and the target CD38 is a validated highly promising target for patients with multiple myeloma."
The total potential value of the transaction is expected to be approximately €628m ($818m), assuming all development, regulatory and sales milestones are achieved.