MorphoSys AG announced today that it has signed a five-year license agreement with U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc. for the use of MorphoSys’s HuCAL GOLD and AutoCAL technologies in research and development of human therapeutic antibodies.
Under the terms of the agreement, MorphoSys grants Merck access to its proprietary technologies for use in Merck’s drug discovery programs. Furthermore, the agreement enables Merck to develop HuCAL-derived therapeutic antibodies in a range of indications. MorphoSys receives an up-front payment, annual user fees and R&D funding. MorphoSys is also eligible to receive license and milestone payments on projects in clinical development, and royalties on any end-products emerging from the collaboration. Further financial details were not disclosed.
During the term of the agreement, Merck will have access to the MorphoSys HuCAL GOLD antibody library and automated screening system AutoCAL at its research sites. Merck also has access to MorphoSys’s HuCAL EST technology, which enables the rapid generation of human antibodies against newly identified proteins and an option to pursue up to ten HuCAL-based therapeutic antibody programs.
”We expect our agreement with MorphoSys to play a key role in building Merck’s capabilities for developing novel therapeutics in the biologics area” said Dr. John Shiver, Vice President and Head of Merck Vaccines and Biologics Research.
“We are excited to embark upon this technology-based collaboration with a top tier pharma company”, commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. “Our latest collaboration with Merck underscores the value and importance of our technology platform and its potential in pharmaceutical R&D as well as our ability to forge long-term partnerships based on our capabilities in the antibody arena.”