LeoPharma and Morphosys join forces to fight skin diseases

LEO Pharma and MorphoSys AG have entered into a strategic alliance for the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of skin diseases.

The objective of the alliance is to identify novel, antibody-based therapeutics for unmet medical needs that will be valuable additions to both companies’ pipelines said companies in their press release issued on Wednesday.

MorphoSys will apply its proprietary Ylanthia technology to generate fully human antibody candidates against the selected targets and will conduct all development activities up to the start of clinical testing. LEO Pharma will be responsible for clinical development and commercialisation of resulting drugs in all indications outside of cancer. In skin cancer indications, MorphoSys will have options to co-develop and, in Europe, co-promote the respective antibody drugs. In addition, MorphoSys will have certain options to develop and commercialise programmes arising from the collaboration in other cancer indications.
MorphoSys will receive R&D funding as well as success-based development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, plus royalties on net sales of drugs commercialised by LEO Pharma. Assuming all development, regulatory and sales objectives are reached, milestone payments would sum up to EUR 111.5 million per antibody programme.
“We see exciting potential to develop new treatments for people with skin diseases through our strategic alliance with MorphoSys,” said Gitte Aabo, CEO & President of LEO Pharma. “By joining forces to discover and develop new therapeutic antibodies, we aim to address a high unmet medical need among people with skin diseases. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to expanding our treatment offering and strengthening our position in biologics within dermatology.” 
“We are excited to join forces with LEO Pharma in a strategic alliance to develop novel, antibody-based drugs,” said Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. “Combining our antibody expertise with LEO Pharma’s deep understanding of dermatology creates an ideal route to products in an area of severe unmet medical need. This alliance is another important step in the execution of our strategy of leveraging our capabilities to build a pipeline of innovative therapeutic antibodies.”

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