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Novartis buys eczema drug in €95m deal

Published on 19/07/18 at 10:59am

Novartis has agreed to buy the rights for a novel antibody MOR106 from the Belgo-Dutch pharmaceutical research company Galapagos and the German biotech company MorphoSys.

The deal in which Novartis has agreed to pay €95 million, will transfer the exclusive global development and marketing rights for the atopic dermatitis (eczema) drug to the Swiss multinational.

Additional payments, royalties and fees may be made if the drug achieves previously agreed upon milestones.

"We are a leader in immuno-dermatology and committed to reimagining the care of patients with severe diseases such as psoriasis, chronic spontaneous urticaria and atopic dermatitis. There is a key role for biologics to treat these severe diseases, which are more than just skin conditions, as they have complex underlying root causes," said Eric Hughes, Global Development Unit Head, Immunology, Hepatology and Dermatology at Novartis. "We are pleased to work with Galapagos and MorphoSys who have a proven track record of developing drug candidates for severe inflammatory diseases."

Atopic Dermatitis affects approximately 8% of adults and 14% of children around the world. The experimental drug MOR106 has demonstrated efficacy and was considered to be safe in a double blind, placebo controlled Phase Ib study.

Dr Simon Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG commented: "This collaboration with Novartis will enable us to accelerate and broaden the development of MOR106 beyond our current focus on atopic dermatitis and to exploit the potential of MOR106 to the maximum. Data from preclinical models and expression analyses suggest that the target of MOR106 might be involved in other diseases, which justifies expanding the development program. We are also very pleased that we can further strengthen our engagement in atopic dermatitis by starting additional trials together with Galapagos, which will be fully reimbursed by Novartis,"

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