MorphoSys, Emergent BioSolutions to advance prostate cancer drug candidate

Emergent will receive $20 million up front and could receive up to $163 million in milestone payments

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MARTINSRIED, Germany—MorphoSys AG and Rockville, Md.-based Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that develops vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases, cancer and autoimmune disorders, have signed an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize ES414, which will be renamed MOR209/ES414. The compound, developed by Emergent with its proprietary ADAPTIR platform, is an anti-PSMA/anti-CD3 bi-specific antibody targeting prostate cancer.
MOR209/ES414 is a targeted immunotherapeutic protein, one that activates host T cell immunity specifically against prostate cancer cells expression Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA), which is commonly overexpressed on prostate cancer cells. in preclinical in-vitro and in-vivo studies, MOR209/ES414 has been shown to redirect T cell cytotoxicity toward prostate cancer cells that express PSMA.
“We are pleased to be working with Emergent BioSolutions,” Dr. Arndt Schottelius, chief development officer of MorphoSys, said in a press release. “We believe MOR209/ES414 has the potential to be an important therapy for prostate cancer, where there is a pressing need for better treatments. The preclinical data suggest that the molecule has a number of potential advantages over other drug candidates in this indication. Our goal is to combine our capabilities with those of Emergent to enable the fastest possible development and commercialization of MOR209/ES414.”
Per the terms of the agreement, MorphoSys will gain worldwide commercialization rights for MOR209/ES414, excluding the United States and Canada, where Emergent will retain rights. In return, MorphoSys will pay Emergent $20 million up front, with the potential for additional milestone payments of up to $163 million linked to events such as successful development in multiple indications and approval in certain territories. The companies will jointly develop MOR209/ES414, and under the agreement, MorphoSys will be responsible for 64 percent of the total costs, with Emergent responsible for 36 percent. Emergent is eligible to receive low single-digit royalties on product sales in MorphoSys’ territory, and MorphoSys will receive tiered royalties from mid-single digits up to 20 percent on product sales in Emergent’s territory.
“Emergent looks forward to collaborating with MorphoSys to potentially address important unmet needs amongst patients suffering from prostate cancer. Our companies bring complementary capabilities, compatible cultures and values, and a shared commitment to the highest quality development and commercialization of MOR209/ES414,” Barry Labinger, executive vice president and president of the Biosciences Division at Emergent, commented in a statement. “We expect to begin clinical development within the next six months. We are encouraged by our partnership with MorphoSys and the continued interest of multiple parties in our ADAPTIR platform.”
SOURCE: MorphoSys press release

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