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Morphosys, Daiichi Sankyo to Develop Therapeutic Antibodies Against Hospital-Acquired Infections

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This story originally ran on Oct. 21.

German antibody firm Morphosys announced this week a collaboration with Japanese pharma Daiichi Sankyo for the development of therapeutic antibodies against hospital-acquired infections.

Daiichi Sankyo becomes Morphosys's first collaborator using Morphosys' HuCAL Platinum antibody library for new drug discovery in infectious diseases.

Under the term of the agreement, the two partners will jointly apply established and new approaches to "generate optimized, fully human therapeutic antibodies against targets associated with" hospital-acquired infections, Morphosys said in a statement. Daiichi Sankyo will fund the development of certain infectious disease-specific technology at Morphosys for the identification of the most effective antibody-based drugs.

The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said that Morphosys will receive licensing fees, R&D funding, and milestone payments. Morphosys will also receive royalties on sales of drugs resulting from the collaboration.

According to Morphosys, the mortality rate for the specific area of focus is estimated at 40 to 60 percent, creating a "large, unmet need" for drugs targeting pathogens in difficult to treat hospital-acquired infections. The global market for drugs targeted at bloodstream infections and hospital-acquired pneumonia is estimated to be $1 billion, Morphosys said.

The two companies first began collaborating in 2006, resulting in four active therapeutic antibody programs, mainly in oncology.

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