MorphoSys’ blood disorder antibody reaches Phase I

MorphoSys AG seems to be sitting on a goldmine with its Human Combinatorial Antibody Library (HuCAL). The German giant snatched the second milestone payment from Novartis this year. The latter will now initiate a Phase I test for a HuCAL antibody designed to treat blood disorders.

MorphoSys landed some big accounts in the past. Pfizer, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Roche … all are in partnership with the German company, that was founded in 1992. Its success is mostly due to its antibody library technology HuCAL, that generates human antibodies in bacteria, after having been screened with the aid of specific phages.


In 2004, MorphoSys and Novartis entered into what seems to be a fruitful collaboration. The Swiss pharma company is already evaluating ten therapeutic antibodies gained from MorphoSys technology in clinical trials. Now, an eleventh will be added. MorphoSys received the second milestone payment from Novartis this year due to a HuCAL antibody. The latter is designed to treat blood disorders and will be now be tested in Phase I.

In total, MorphoSys’ clinical pipeline currently comprises 24 unique antibody molecules, which are being evaluated in more than 50 clinical trials. 15 years after the presentation of their HuCAL antibody library, the €2Bn worth company can call itself a leader in the therapeutic antibody field.

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