News Feature | December 11, 2014

MorphoSys Posts Positive Phase 2 Data For MOR208 In NHL

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Therapeutic antibody specialist MorphoSys announced positive mid-stage results for its proprietary drug lead MOR208 as treatment for relapsed or refractory Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL).

MOR208 is an anti-CD19 antibody designed with a unique modification to the Fc portion. The drug is being developed as treatment for B-cell malignancies. MOR208 has received Orphan Drug Designations in the U.S. and EU for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track status to MOR208 in DLBCL.

The open label, multi center, Phase 2A study investigated the safety and efficacy of MOR208 as monotherapy in patients with DLBCL, follicular lymphoma (FL), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), and other indolent NHL (iNHL), who had undergone prior rituximab therapy. Results show that MOR208 was well-tolerated with a low level of infusion reactions. The drug also demonstrated efficacy as a monotherapy.

Dr. Arndt Schottelius, chief development officer of MorphoSys, said, “The data we have generated so far in NHL, which included four complete responses in total, provide strong support for the MOR208 program… It is worth noting that MOR208 is a naked antibody that was used as monotherapy in this trial. The very encouraging single-agent activity and solid safety profile bode well for future development.” Dr. Schottelius further explained that the signal searching approach used in the study serves as an important development tool for the investigational compound.

MorphoSys presented the results of the first two stages of the study at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Earlier this year, MorphoSys inked a deal with Merck Serono to develop antibodies against undisclosed immune checkpoints. The company also signed a deal in August with Emergent Biosolutions to develop a lead antibody as treatment for prostate cancer.