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MorphoSys and Heptares Sign Alliance to Develop Antibody Therapeutics Targeting GPCRs

February 13, 2013 - Martinsried, Germany And Munich, Germany

MorphoSys AG /MorphoSys and Heptares Sign Alliance to Develop Antibody TherapeuticsTargetingGPCRs. Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Collaboration Harnesses Heptares' StaRs® to Open up New TargetSpace forTherapeutic Antibodies from MorphoSys' Ylanthia® Platform

MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) and UK-basedHeptaresTherapeutics, the leading GPCR drug discovery and development company,havesigned an agreement to discover novel antibody therapeutics targeting Gprotein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are membrane proteins involved ina broad rangeof biological processes and diseases.

"GPCRs comprise the single largest class of targets forpharmaceuticalscurrently on the market. Technical challenges have meant that GPCRs havebeenlargely intractable to therapeutic antibody development. We believethat bycombining Heptares' unique StaR(® )platform for generatingstable GPCRs asantigens with our antibody discovery technology, we will be able tounlock theimmense potential of therapeutic antibodies against GPCRs," commented Dr.SimonMoroney, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys AG.

"By creating StaRs, we believe we have overcome a major challenge facingsmallmolecule and biologics discovery efforts focused on GPCRs. This hasenabled usto create partnerships with leading pharma and biotech companies in bothareasas well as to advance our own pipeline. We are therefore very excited tosignthis new partnership with MorphoSys, one of the world's most advancedantibodytherapeutic companies, to further leverage the power of our StaR®technologyinto the antibody space," said Malcolm Weir, Chief ExecutiveOfficer ofHeptares.

Under the terms of the agreement, Heptares will generate stabilizedreceptors(StaRs) for a set of GPCR disease targets proposed by MorphoSys. MorphoSyswillthen apply its Ylanthia antibody library to discover and developantibodytherapeutics against these StaRs. MorphoSys has the right to sublicense tothirdparties access to these targets in conjunction with therapeuticantibodycandidates. Heptares will receive upfront and research funding payments,plus ashare of future sublicensing revenues generated by MorphoSys. Heptaresalsochose Ylanthia to develop and commercialize one therapeutic antibodycreated byMorphoSys against a GPCR target selected by Heptares. In this case,MorphoSys iseligible to receive license fees, milestones and royalties on anyYlanthiaantibody developed by Heptares.

Heptares' StaRs offer a breakthrough solution to the main challengeassociatedwith making antibodies against GPCRs, namely producing purified andproperlyfolded protein for use as an antigen against which antibodies are raised.StaRsenable antibody discovery by stabilizing the GPCR protein outside thecellularmembrane in the correct conformation. StaRs preserve biologicallyrelevantepitopes thereby enabling generation of a diverse panel offunctionalantibodies. This has previously proved very difficult for GPCRs, whichlosetheir conformational and functional integrity when removed from theirnaturalenvironment in cell membranes.

MorphoSys's Ylanthia antibody library comprises more than 100 billiondistinct,fully human antibodies, which makes it the industry's largest knownantibody Fablibrary. Ylanthia's genetic composition translates into unprecedentedstructuraldiversity of the antibodies and offers optimized developabilityfeatures. Thelibrary's diversity is expected to result in antibodies againstpreviouslyinaccessible target molecules and to provide unique epitope coverage.

The GPCR superfamily is the largest and single most important family ofdrugtargets in the human body. It plays a central role in many biologicalprocessesand is linked to a wide range of disease areas. GPCRs are expressed ineverytype of cell in the body where their function is to transmit signalsfromoutside the cell across the membrane to signaling pathways within thecell,between cells and between organ systems. There are over 375non-chemosensory GPCRs encoded in the human genome, of which 225 haveknown ligands and 150 areorphan targets. GPCRs are the site of action of 25-30% of currentlyapproveddrugs. Six of the top ten and 60 of the top 200 best-selling drugs in theUS in2010 target GPCRs. Seven of 37 drugs approved in 2012 by the US Food &DrugAdministration target GPCRs. By the end of 2012, 37 therapeuticantibodies hadbeen approved and are being marketed in countries around the world.However, todate only one GPCR-targeting antibody has been approved.

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.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

About Heptares Therapeutics:

Heptares creates new medicines targeting clinically important, yethistoricallychallenging, GPCRs (G protein-coupled receptors), a superfamily of drugreceptors linked to a wide range of human diseases. Leveraging our advancedstructure-based drug design technology platform, we have built an excitingdiscovery and development pipeline of novel drug candidates, which have thepotential to transform the treatment of serious diseases, includingAlzheimer'sdisease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, migraine and diabetes. Ourpharmaceutical partners include Shire, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Takeda,Cubistand MorphoSys, and we are backed by MVM Life Science Partners, ClarusVentures,Novartis Venture Fund and Takeda Ventures. To learn more about Heptares,pleasevisit

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

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

StaRs® is a registered trademark of Heptares Therapeutics

This communication contains certain forward-looking statementsconcerning theMorphoSys 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 theCompany'sassumptions, actual results and actions may differ from thoseanticipated.MorphoSys does not intend to update any of these forward-lookingstatements asfar as the wording of the relevant press release is concerned.

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Source: MorphoSys AG via Thomson Reuters ONE


For more information, please contact:

MorphoSys AG

Dr. Claudia Gutjahr-Loser
Head of Corporate Communications & IR
Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-122

Mario Brkulj
Associate Director
Corporate Communications & IR
Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-454

Alexandra Goller
Specialist Corporate Communications & IR
Tel: +49 (0) 89 / 899 27-332

Email Contact

Heptares Therapeutics Ltd

Mark Swallow
Chris Gardner
(Citigate Dewe Rogerson)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7282 2948
Email Contact

Malcolm Weir
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44 (0)1707 358 629
Email Contact

Dan Grau
President (USA)
Tel: +1 857 222 4586
Email Contact


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