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MorphoSys Gets $1.4M to Develop Cancer Program, Explore Biomarkers

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) –MorphoSys said today that it has received a €1.1 million ($1.4 million) grant to accelerate development of its cancer program.

The grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research specifically will be used to develop the company's HuCAL-based cancer program MOR202 into clinical development for treating multiple myeloma. As part of the effort, the company will explore relevant biomarkers for the anti-CD38 approach in collaboration with the university hospital of Munich Technical University, MorphoSys said in a statement.

MOR202 is a fully human, HuCAL antibody directed against CD38, a membrane-bound glycoprotein that maybe a therapeutic target for the treatment of multiple myeloma and certain leukemias. In a statement, MophoSys' Chief Development Officer Arndt Schottelius said that the incorporation of biomarkers into the new therapeutic approach further differentiates the company's program.

"This grant supports the MOR202 program, for which we are on track to file a clinical trial application in Europe before the end of 2010," he said.

Based in Martinsried/Munich, MorphoSys focuses on fully human antibodies for the diagnoses and treatment of diseases and for research.

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