MorphoSys has signed a technology transfer deal with Pfizer and increased its revenue guidance for 2010.
The agreement with the US drugs giant is with MorphoSys’ recently-acquired subsidiary Sloning BioTechnology and covers the installation, training and use of the latter’s Slonomics technology for fabrication of highly-diverse gene and protein libraries at Pfizer's subsidiary Rinat Neuroscience Corp. in south San Francisco. Sloning will pocket an unspecified upfront payment and annual licence fees.
Simon Moroney, MorphoSys chief executive, said the alliance with Pfizer “creates immediate value for our shareholders and is just the beginning of what we expect to be a considerable return-on-investment from the combined technology platforms of MorphoSys and Sloning in the years ahead."
MorphoSys also announced that three of its partners have filed applications for Phase I clinical trials with HuCAL antibodies, each of which triggers an undisclosed milestone payment to the German biotech. Six HuCAL antibodies have entered clinical development in 2010 and details will be disclosed once the respective trials commence.
Chief scientific officer Marlies Sproll said that it has been “an outstanding year for progress in our pipeline”. He added that the number of partnered HuCAL antibody programmes in the clinic has gone up from seven at the end of last year and “seven different partners from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry are currently running clinical trials with our antibodies”.
MorphoSys has also increased its financial guidance for 2010 mainly as a result of the acquisition of Sloning, which closed in October. The company now expects revenues of 91-94 million euros from a previous guidance of 89-90 million euros. Operating profit is now expected to reach 13-16 million euros, up from a previous forecast of 7-9 million euros.