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MorphoSys and the University of Melbourne Publish Preclinical Data on the Role of GM-CSF in Inflammatory, Arthritic and Osteoarthritic Pain

September 10, 2012 - Martinsried, Germany And Munchen, Germany

MorphoSys AG /MorphoSys and the University of Melbourne Publish Preclinical Data on theRoleof GM-CSF in Inflammatory, Arthritic and Osteoarthritic Pain. Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) and the UniversityofMelbourne today announced the publication of two research papers thatunderlinethe broad therapeutic potential of antibodies targetinggranulocyte-macrophagecolony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The papers provide evidence that GM-CSFis akey mediator of inflammatory, arthritic and osteoarthritic pain. GM-CSF isthetarget molecule of MorphoSys's MOR103 program, a HuCAL antibody, which iscurrently in development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) andmultiple sclerosis (MS). Clinical safety and efficacy data from the phase1b/2atrial in RA will be published shortly.

The first publication[1] reports an investigation into the involvement ofGM-CSF in inflammatory and arthritic pain. The study assessed thedevelopment ofpain in a widely used model of inflammatory pain as well as in twoinflammatoryarthritis models, using mice lacking the GM-CSF gene. In these studies,GM-CSFwas shown to be absolutely required for pain development in both theinflammatory pain and arthritis models. The findings were furtherhighlighted ina commentary published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology[2].

A second publication[3] reports on a study that looked at the role ofGM-CSFin experimental osteoarthritis and the pain associated with this disease.Therapeutic neutralization of GM-CSF using an antibody alleviated jointpainwithin three days and led to significantly reduced cartilage damage. Theresearch team at the University of Melbourne was led by Professor JohnHamiltonand Dr. Andrew Cook.

In conclusion, the research showed that GM-CSF is a key mediator ofinflammatorypain, including arthritic pain, and is essential for experimentalosteoarthritisand the associated pain.

"Relief from inflammatory pain represents a significant unmet medical needandthere is a great demand for better therapies in this area," commented Dr.ArndtSchottelius, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "The pre-clinicalworkwe performed with the University of Melbourne in indications such asosteoarthritis points to the potential of our MOR103 program beyondrheumatoidarthritis and multiple sclerosis, where it is currently in clinicaldevelopment.The published data demonstrate that MOR103 has the potential to become animportant drug in a number of inflammatory indications."

"The relationship between pain, inflammation and tissue damage, for exampleinarthritis, is complex and not well understood," commented ProfessorHamilton whois a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. "Increasingevidencesupports the hypothesis that cytokines such as GM-CSF are not onlyinflammatorymediators but can also be regarded as factors associated with painperception.GM-CSF therefore represents a valuable potential target for inflammatoryandarthritic pain management and treatment."

About MOR103 and GM-CSF

MOR103 is a HuCAL antibody against human GM-CSF, currently in developmentforthe treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Clinicalsafetyand efficacy data from the concluded phase 1b/2a trial in RA will bepublishedin the second half of September 2012.

In 2007, MorphoSys signed an agreement with the University of Melbourne,providing the company with an exclusive license to a patent family coveringtherapeutic uses of inhibitors of GM-CSF. The claims of the key patent(U.S.Patent No. 7,455,836) are directed to methods of ameliorating the effectsofinflammation by administering to a patient an antibody directed againstGM-CSF.In 2009, the existing relationship was expanded with an agreement tocooperateon investigating new therapeutic applications for MorphoSys's MOR103program. Aspart of the expanded relationship, new patent applications have been filed,which are intended to broaden the scope of the anti-GM-CSF approach.


[1] Cook AD, Pobjoy J, Sarros S, Steidl S, Dürr M, Lacey DC, HamiltonJA.Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor is a key mediator ininflammatory and arthritic pain.Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (2012) Jul 24 [Epub ahead of print]

[2] Onuora S.Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor required for inflammatoryandarthritic pain.Nature Reviews Rheumatology (2012) [accepted manuscript]

[3] Cook AD, Pobjoy J, Steidl S, Dürr M, Braine AM, Turner AL, LaceyDC,Hamilton JA.Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor is a key mediator inexperimental osteoarthritis pain and disease developmentArthritis Research & Therapy (2012) Aug 14 [Epub ahead of print]

About the University of Melbourne / Melbourne Ventures:

Melbourne Ventures Pty Ltd is the technology commercialisation company oftheUniversity of Melbourne, one of the top 40 Universities in the world (TimesHigher Education 2008). The University of Melbourne is renowned asAustralia'sleading biomedical enterprise, training more health professionals andattractingmore nationally competitive grants for biomedical research than any otherAustralian university. A wholly owned subsidiary of the University,MelbourneVentures provides commercialisation and IP management expertise across thefullbreadth of faculties and departments, and is responsible for negotiatinglicences and investments for the transfer and commercialisation ofUniversitydeveloped technologies. For further information please visit our website

About MorphoSys:

MorphoSys developed HuCAL, the most successful antibody library technologyinthe pharmaceutical industry. By successfully applying this and otherpatentedtechnologies, MorphoSys has become a leader in the field of therapeuticantibodies, one of the fastest-growing drug classes in human healthcare.Thecompany's AbD Serotec unit uses HuCAL and other antibody technologies togenerate superior monoclonal antibodies for research and diagnosticapplications.

Together with its pharmaceutical partners, MorphoSys has built atherapeuticpipeline of more than 70 human antibody drug candidates for the treatmentofcancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease, to name just a few.Withits ongoing commitment to new antibody technology and drug development,MorphoSys is focused on making the healthcare products of tomorrow.MorphoSys islisted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol MOR. For regularupdatesabout MorphoSys, visit

HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®,RapMAT®, arYla®and Ylanthia® and 100 billion high potentials® are registeredtrademarks ofMorphoSys AG.

Slonomics® is a registered trademark of Sloning BioTechnology GmbH, asubsidiary of MorphoSys AG.

This communication contains certain forward-looking statements concerningtheMorphoSys group of companies. The forward-looking statements containedhereinrepresent the judgment of MorphoSys as of the date of this release andinvolverisks and uncertainties. Should actual conditions differ from the Company'sassumptions, actual results and actions may differ from those anticipated.MorphoSys does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statementsasfar as the wording of the relevant press release is concerned.

Media Release (PDF):

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Source: MorphoSys AG via Thomson Reuters ONE[HUG#1639758]

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