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MorphoSys and Incyte forge potential $1.1bn partnership to develop B cell malignancy drug candidate

Published on 14/01/20 at 11:34am

MorphoSys and Incyte have joined together in a partnership to develop and commercialise the latter’s anti-CD19 antibody tafasitamab as a treatment for B cell malignancies, it has been announced.

Specifically, the pair aim to bring forward the candidate as a treatment for relapsed/refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (r/r DLBCL), as well as frontline DLBCL, follicular lymphoma (FL), marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Under the agreement, both companies will handle the commercialisation of the therapy within the US market, sharing profit and loss on a 50:50 basis, while Incyte will have exclusive rights to commercialise the drug in the rest of the world, fully funding development costs outside the US.  

To this end, Incyte is to pay MorphoSys an upfront payment of $750 million as well as an equity investment of $150million in new American Depositary Shares (ADS). This could be followed by payments which would bring the total value of the deal up to $1.1 billion, dependent of the achievement of regulatory and commercial milestones.

"The global partnership with Incyte is an important step towards unlocking the full potential of tafasitamab and achieving our goal of rapidly bringing tafasitamab to patients inside and outside of the US," said Dr Jean-Paul Kress, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. "The combination of our strong antibody and drug development expertise partnered with Incyte's well-established haematology-oncology experience and their commercial operations in key territories has the potential to significantly broaden the tafasitamab opportunity. We are pleased to work with Incyte to jointly improve the lives of patients suffering from DLBCL and other devastating diseases."

Hervé Hoppenot, CEO of Incyte, also remarked: "Bringing together Incyte's expertise and MorphoSys' commitment to innovation will allow us to make tafasitamab widely available to patients with cancer, upon approval. We look forward to collaborating closely with the team at MorphoSys and adding tafasitamab to our portfolio of oncology candidates as part of our committment to bringing new, advanced treatment options to patients and the clinical community around the world."

Matt Fellows

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