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Incyte signs lymphoma deal worth up to $1.1bn with MorphoSys

Will pay $750m upfront for co-commercialisation rights


Incyte has signed a deal with MorphoSys, worth up to $1.1bn, for the joint development and commercialisation of the MorphoSys’ lymphoma candidate tafasitamab. 

MorphoSys licensed tafasitimab from Xencor in 2010, and has been studying the anti-CD19 antibody in B-cell malignancies in a number of ongoing clinical trials.

This includes trials of tafasitamab in non-Hodgkins lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), relapsed/refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (r/r DLBCL) and frontline DLBCL.

MorphoSys will be responsible for these currently ongoing trials, while both parties have agreed to co-develop tafasitamab broadly in r/r DLBCL, frontline DLBCL as well as in additional indications beyond DLBCL, such as follicular lymphoma (FL), marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and CLL.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with the team at MorphoSys and adding tafasitamab to our portfolio of oncology candidates as part of our committent to bringing new, advanced treatment options to patients and the clinical community around the world,” said Hervé Hoppenot, CEO of Incyte.

Under the terms of the deal, Incyte is paying MorphoSys $750m upfront, as well as making an equity investment worth $150m in the company. MorphoSys is also eligible to receive milestone payments worth up to $1.1bn, in addition to any royalties from the drug.

MorphoSys has already filed tafasitamab with the FDA, as a treatment for patients with r/r DLBCL, and expects a decision by mid-2020.

In MorphoSys’ Re-MIND study of tafasitamab, in combination with Revlimid (lenalidomide), the tafasitamab/Revlimid combination demonstrated an overall response rate of 67.1% compared to 34.2% for the Revlimid monotherapy group.

The tafasitamab combination also achieved a complete response rate of 39.5% compared to 11.8% for those treated with Revlimid alone.

The deal will see Incyte’s pipeline rejuvenated, after the company has faced a number of late-stage failures, including its phase 3 hopeful itacitinib in first-line, acute graft vs host disease.

If approved, tafasitamab will go on to compete with existing cancer drugs including CAR-T therapies like Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Gilead’s Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel). It may have an advantage over these drugs however, as CAR-T therapies are personalised medicines which have complex manufacturing processes.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

14th January 2020

From: Marketing



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