I-Mab Biopharma (I-Mab) and MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX; OTC: MPSYY) announced today that they have entered into an exclusive regional licensing agreement to develop and commercialize MOR202 in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. MOR202 is MorphoSys’s proprietary investigational antibody against CD38, for which recruitment of a European Phase 1/2a clinical study in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma has been concluded.
Under the terms of the agreement, I-Mab will assume exclusive responsibility for all subsequent development and commercialization of MOR202 in the agreed territory. MorphoSys receives an immediate upfront payment and will be entitled to receive additional success-based clinical and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties from I-Mab.
I-Mab plans to start clinical development of MOR202 to treat patients with multiple myeloma in China in 2018.
“We are very excited to partner with MorphoSys to develop this highly differentiated investigational oncology medicine for unmet needs in China. This partnership marks a latest addition to our China portfolio of clinical stage assets, which parallels with our global immuno-oncology portfolio of innovative biologics”, said Jingwu Zang, founder and CEO of I-Mab.
“Our deal with I-Mab is the first step in our plan to secure the development and commercialization of MOR202. In I-Mab, we have found an ideal partner with a highly dedicated and experienced team who are committed to developing MOR202 as fast as possible for the Chinese market”, commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG.
About MOR202 and the ongoing phase 1/2a study in multiple myeloma
The investigational drug MOR202 is a human HuCAL antibody directed against CD38, a highly expressed and validated target in multiple myeloma. Preclinical findings also support an anti-CD38 approach in other therapeutic fields beyond multiple myeloma including solid tumors and autoimmune diseases. MOR202 is currently in a phase 1/2a, open-label, multi-center, dose-escalation clinical study conducted in several sites in Germany and Austria. The study is evaluating the safety and preliminary efficacy of MOR202 with low dose dexamethasone and in combination with the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) pomalidomide (POM) and lenalidomide (LEN) plus DEX in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The primary endpoints of the trial are the safety, tolerability and recommended dose of MOR202 with DEX and in combination with the IMiDs. Secondary outcome measures are pharmacokinetics and preliminary efficacy based on overall response rate, duration of response, time-to-progression, and progression-free survival.
About Multiple Myeloma:
Multiple myeloma (MM), a cancer derived from plasma cells, ranks second among hematological malignancies in many countries. In China, there would be an estimated 27,800 new cases each year and a total of 200,000 cases. With the acceleration of the aging process in China, it is predicted that MM, with a rapid growth in incidence, will become one of the more significant diseases that affect people’s health. Patients who are refractory to the existing treatments have a very poor prognosis. MOR202 could be a highly differentiated innovative medicine for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
I-Mab is a dynamic and fast-growing global player committed to developing innovative biologics in the areas of immuno-oncology and immuno-inflammation through internal R&D capabilities and global partnerships. I-Mab’s pipeline is driven by the company’s development strategy to address unmet needs in China and to bring innovative assets to the world. Following the recent Series B financing of $150 million and rapid growth in internal R&D capabilities, I-Mab is now well positioned to advance its China portfolio of multiple Phase 2 and Phase 3 innovative clinical assets and its global portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class assets in China and/or US in 2018. I-Mab’s long-term commitment is to deliver transformational medicines to patients globally with a focus on unmet needs in China. More information: http://www.i-mabbiopharma.com/en/
MorphoSys is committed to developing exceptional new treatments for patients suffering from serious diseases. A leader in the field of therapeutic antibodies today, MorphoSys is driven by the ambition of creating the most valuable pipeline of biopharmaceuticals in the biotechnology industry. Based on its proprietary technology platforms, MorphoSys, together with its partners, has built a therapeutic pipeline of more than 110 programs in R&D, around a quarter of which is currently in clinical development.
In its proprietary development segment, MorphoSys, alone or with partners, is developing new therapeutic candidates, mainly focusing on cancer and inflammation. In its partnered discovery segment, MorphoSys uses its technologies to discover new drug candidates for pharmaceutical partners and participates from the programs’ further development success, through success-based payments and royalties. MorphoSys is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol MOR. For regular updates about MorphoSys, visit http://www.morphosys.com.
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