NUTLEY, N.J.—Already having enjoyed a successful collaboration deal with Frankfurt, Germany-based MorphoSys AG since September 2000 regarding Alzheimer's disease, Hoffmann-La Roche announced a second collaboration to develop new therapeutic antibodies in oncology. Under the terms of the deal, Roche will elect new target molecules against which MorphoSys will generate antibodies using its proprietary Human Combinatorial Antibody Library (HuCAL) GOLD technology.
"When we find a good productive partner, our inclination is not only to renew the existing deal but also extend the relationship into new areas if possible," says Eric de la Fortelle, a member of the Global Pharma Partnering Department management team at Roche.
"Expanding our existing partnerships is a high priority for us," commented Dr. Simon Moroney, CEO of MorphoSys.
MorphoSys also recently expanded its role in the research antibody industry by the acquisition of the U.K.- and U.S.-based Biogenesis Group in January 2005 and U.K.-based Serotec Group in 2006.
With the current deal, Roche and MorphoSys will collaborate on two new antibody programs in oncology, with Roche responsible for preclinical and clinical development and subsequent marketing of all resulting products. MorphoSys will receive an up-front payment and may receive additional research funding and future event payments totaling more than 10 million Euro per program, plus potential royalties.
"We're keeping all the rights in Roche," de la Fortelle says. "MorphoSys is a technical partner in this deal...but they are not a development partner."