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MorphoSys boosts revenue in Q1

MorphoSys AG announces 8 per cent increase in group revenue over Q1 2009 and €12.2m improvement in cash position since December 31, 2009

MorphoSys AG has announced its financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2010. Group revenues increased by 8 per cent to €20.6m; operating profit increased to €4.7m; and net profit decreased slightly to €3.2m (versus €19.1m, €4.2m and €33.5m in Q1 2009, respectively). On March 31, 2010, the company's cash position stood at €147.3m, up €12.2m on its December 31, 2010 cash position of €135.1m.

MorphoSys, which currently has seven proprietary therapeutic antibody programmes in its pipeline, has increased its investment in proprietary research and development (R&D) to €4.6m. This quarter, the proprietary development segment contributed €0.3m to total group revenue, and, due in part to the higher level of investment in proprietary drug development, operating expenses increased approximately 7 per cent over Q1 2009, from €14.9m to €15.9m.

According to Dave Lemus, chief financial officer: "Our strong earnings-generating business allows us to further expand our proprietary product development activities in 2010 while maintaining our solid financial profile."

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) financial review states that the company's overall revenue growth: "was driven primarily by higher levels of funded research and licensing fees in the partnered discovery segment as well as stronger sales in the AbD Serotec [research and diagnostics] segment."

MorphoSys currently has research collaborations with Novartis, Schering-Plough, Astellas, Galapagos and Daiichi-Sankyo, among others. Including its seven proprietary programmes, MorphoSys' pipeline comprises 72 programmes, mainly in the areas of oncology and inflammation: of these, eight are in clinical development, 28 are in preclinical development and 36 are in the discovery phase.

This quarter has seen mixed fortunes for MorphoSys' drug development: the early-stage cancer programme MOR203 was discontinued, but in late January the company began enrolment of rheumatoid arthritis patients in a phase Ib/IIa clinical trial of its lead drug MOR103, a fully human HuCAL antibody being developed in the area of inflammatory diseases.

Today's announcement follows a string of good financial reports for the company. In 2009, total operating revenue reached €81m, an organic increase of 13 per cent over the previous year. In light of the positive Q1 results, MorphoSys has now re-confirmed its full year financial guidance: in 2010 the company anticipates total group revenues of €89m–€93m and operating profit of €5m–€9m.

27th April 2010

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