Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has signed an agreement for an expanded alliance with MorphoSys AG. Under their agreement, MorphoSys AG will apply its proprietary HuCAL technology to generate human antibodies for a new target molecule in inflammatory disorders provided by Millennium.
One of the objectives of the alliance is to develop fully human antibodies against targets involved in the recruitment and activation of leukocytes.
The advantage of therapeutic antibodies over other therapeutic approaches, that broadly suppress the immune system, is their expected selective efficacy.
“Our robust antibody pipeline, which includes CAMPATH, our most advanced monoclonal currently under review at the FDA, and clinical and preclinical product candidates, continues to grow as we fill it with dozens of exciting targets,” said Walter Newman, Ph.D., senior vice president, biotherapeutics discovery and non-clinical development of Millennium.
“We are using MorphoSys AG’s state-of-the-art HuCAL technology on a promising antibody target as we advance it into screening.”
“We are absolutely delighted about our collaboration with Millennium, an antibody powerhouse and a first-tier biopharmaceutical company,” said Thomas von Rueden, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of MorphoSys AG.
“The extension of our alliance is a clear vote for HuCAL as a technology for generating human antibodies as potential therapeutics.”
Under the agreement Millennium has the right to apply the HuCAL technology to six additional targets.
MorphoSys AG receives an up- front payment and research and development funding, as well as additional payments for defined milestones.
If the co-operation leads to a marketed drug, MorphoSys AG will receive royalties on sales of marketed products.