I-Mab Biopharma and MorphoSys have entered into an exclusive regional licensing agreement to develop and commercialize MOR202 in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao.
MOR202 is MorphoSys's proprietary investigational antibody against CD38, for which recruitment of a European Phase 1/2a clinical study in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma has been concluded.
Under the terms of the agreement, I-Mab will assume exclusive responsibility for all subsequent development and commercialization of MOR202 in the agreed territory.
MorphoSys receives an immediate upfront payment and will be entitled to receive additional success-based clinical and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties from I-Mab.
I-Mab plans to start clinical development of MOR202 to treat patients with multiple myeloma in China in 2018.
"We are very excited to partner with MorphoSys to develop this highly differentiated investigational oncology medicine for unmet needs in China. This partnership marks a latest addition to our China portfolio of clinical stage assets, which parallels with our global immuno-oncology portfolio of innovative biologics", said Jingwu Zang, founder and CEO of I-Mab.
"Our deal with I-Mab is the first step in our plan to secure the development and commercialization of MOR202. In I-Mab, we have found an ideal partner with a highly dedicated and experienced team who are committed to developing MOR202 as fast as possible for the Chinese market", commented Dr. Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG.
The investigational drug MOR202 is a human HuCAL antibody directed against CD38, a highly expressed and validated target in multiple myeloma. Preclinical findings also support an anti-CD38 approach in other therapeutic fields beyond multiple myeloma including solid tumors and autoimmune diseases.
MOR202 is currently in a phase 1/2a, open-label, multi-center, dose-escalation clinical study conducted in several sites in Germany and Austria. The study is evaluating the safety and preliminary efficacy of MOR202 with low dose dexamethasone and in combination with the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) pomalidomide (POM) and lenalidomide (LEN) plus DEX in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.
The primary endpoints of the trial are the safety, tolerability and recommended dose of MOR202 with DEX and in combination with the IMiDs. Secondary outcome measures are pharmacokinetics and preliminary efficacy based on overall response rate, duration of response, time-to-progression, and progression-free survival.