MorphoSys grabs Xencor antibody
Martinsried – German antibody specialist MorphoSys AG has signed a worldwide exclusive licensing and collaboration agreement for the humanised Anti-CD19 monoclonal antibody XmAb5574 from US-based Xencor Inc as a potential treatment for B-cell malignancies. The antibody, which has been renamed MOR208, improves a key mechanism for killing tumour cells, thus offering potential for enhanced efficacy in treating cancer. Both partners will collaborate on a Phase I study for XmAb5574 in chronic lymphatic leukemia in the US. Xencor will pay the R&D costs, and will receive an upfront payment of US$13m from MorphoSys. Xencor will also be eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercialisation-related milestone payments and tiered royalties based on product sales. Further financial terms were not disclosed.