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Novartis Extends Antibody Deal With MorphoSys by Four Years

NEW YORK, June 26 (GenomeWeb News) - MorphoSys has expanded its existing therapeutic antibody collaboration with Novartis, and "in light" of the expansion" plans to update its financial guidance for 2006, the company said today.


The original three-year deal with Novartis, begun in 2004, will now go through May 2011, MorphoSys said. The company said it is "currently reviewing the status of its financial guidance 2006 and will provide an update latest by July 28, 2006, the presentation of its Q2 results [sic]."


Terms of the new agreement call for Novartis to increase the number of new therapeutic antibody projects annually --- "resulting in increased levels of ... funding."


In addition, "Novartis will have the option to receive access to the MorphoSys HuCAL GOLD library at an additional research site and will have access to a certain HuCAL affinity optimization technology at the HuCAL library installation sites at Novartis for optimization of non-therapeutic antibodies."


Finally, the agreement "provides for increased annual license fees, with commercial license fees, research and developmental milestones, and royalties on marketed antibody products remaining unchanged."


The original alliance was aimed at jointly developing new antibody-based therapeutics against a range of illnesses, MorphoSys said. As part of the deal Novartis took an equity stake in MorphoSys worth approximately €9 million, worth around $10.9 million at the time, and is today the company's largest shareholder.

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