03 Dec 2008   |   News

Morphosys and Galapagos team up on musculoskeletal diseases

Antibody specialist MorphoSys AG and Galapagos NV a genomics company have launched a long term co-development alliance to discover and develop antibody therapies based on novel modes of action in bone and joint disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

The alliance spans all activities from target discovery through to completion of proof of concept clinical trials of novel therapeutic antibodies. Both companies will contribute their core technologies and expertise to the alliance. Galapagos will provide antibody targets implicated in bone and joint disease, in addition to its adenoviral target discovery platform, to discover further targets for antibody development.

MorphoSys will contribute its HuCAL antibody technologies to generate fully human antibodies directed against these targets. The initial goal is to further validate the targets through disease-specific testing of the antibodies.

After validation, the alliance will select antibody programmes for development. The partners will share the research and development costs, as well as all future revenues equally.

Decisions will be made by a committee comprising members of both companies. An initial set of three targets implicated in bone and joint disease has been selected for the collaboration, and Galapagos is already commencing production of these proteins.

Onno van de Stolpe, Chief Executive Officer of Galapagos said, “With this alliance, we are adding a biologics strategy to our small molecule drug discovery. Antibody approaches have proved to be successful in developing new therapies for major diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.”

Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys said, “This alliance represents a major step in our efforts to gain access to novel antibody targets for proprietary drug development in disease areas with a high unmet medical need. The partnership with Galapagos combines the scientific and financial strength of two leading companies in their space.”

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