Germany's MorphoSys has been boosted by the news that US drug major Schering-Plough has decided to extend the firms' collaboration for a year.

The alliance, which was announced in May 2006, has a maximum term of five years until 2011 and may be extended by S-Pl after each year. Under the agreement, the US firm will continue to have access to MorphoSys's antibody library HuCAL Gold at its research site in Palo Alto, California and also provides S-P with the option to develop and commercialise HuCAL-derived therapeutic antibodies.

In that case MorphoSys would receive license fees, milestone payments, as well as royalties. The extended agreement means that the Martinsried group continues to receive annual user fees for access to its HuCAL platform, though no financial details were not disclosed.

Chief executive Simon Moroney said that the S-P extension "is yet another clear signal that our HuCAL technology will continue to form the basis of antibody-based drug development programmes at a number of leading pharmaceutical companies". MorphoSys added that the latest news represents the third extension with a major drugmaker since it signed a "landmark deal" with Novartis at the end of last year, an antibody-based biologic therapies pact which could be worth over $1 billion.