MorphoSys and I-Mab Announce FDA Clearance of IND Application for MOR210/TJ210 in Patients with Advanced Cancer

Phase 1 Clinical Study Expected to Start in Q4 2020

PLANEGG/MUNICH, Germany and SHANGHAI, China I September 17, 2020 I MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, MDAX & TecDAX;NASDAQ: MOR) and I-Mab (Nasdaq: IMAB) today jointly announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Investigational New Drug application (IND) for MorphoSys' investigational human anti-C5aR1 antibody MOR210/TJ210 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory advanced solid tumors. The phase 1 clinical trial, designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of MOR210/TJ210, may proceed and is expected to commence subsequently. 

MOR210/TJ210 is a highly differentiated monoclonal antibody that is directed against complement factor C5a receptor 1 (C5aR1). Tumor and stromal cells produce C5a that attracts immunosuppressive cell types such as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), M2 macrophages and neutrophils through C5aR1 expressed on their surface, contributing to a hostile tumor microenvironment towards T cells. MOR210/TJ210 is thought to block the interaction between C5a and C5aR1 by binding to C5aR1 and retard the migration of suppressor cells. It has been shown to exert strong anti-tumor activity in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors in preclinical studies.

"MOR210/TJ210 has demonstrated encouraging results in preclinical studies. We look forward to progressing MOR210/TJ210 into clinical studies which will enable us to characterize the safety and tolerability of MOR210/TJ210, as well as its potential clinical benefits in patients with cancers", said Dr Joan Shen, Chief Executive Officer of I-Mab.

"The FDA clearance of the IND application to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial of MOR210/TJ210 is an important step forward in developing a new treatment for patients with advanced cancer", said Dr Malte Peters, Chief Research & Development Officer of MorphoSys. "We look forward to joining forces with I-Mab in developing highly innovative treatments in oncology and are pleased to support our partner during this significant phase."

MorphoSys and I-Mab entered into an exclusive strategic collaboration and licensing agreement to develop and commercialize MOR210/TJ210 in November 2018. Under the terms of agreement, I-Mab receives exclusive rights to develop and commercialize MOR210/TJ210 in Greater China and South Korea, while MorphoSys retains rights in other parts of the world. With support from MorphoSys, I-Mab will also fund and conduct all global development activities of MOR210/TJ210, including clinical trials in China and the U.S., towards clinical proof-of-concept (PoC) in oncology.

The two companies are also collaborating on MorphoSys' investigational human CD38 antibody MOR202/TJ202. I-Mab owns the exclusive rights for development and commercialization in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao and started two registrational trials to evaluate MOR202/TJ202 in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in 2019.

About MOR210/TJ210

MOR210 is a novel human antibody directed against C5aR derived from MorphoSys's HuCAL Platinum® technology. C5aR, the receptor of the complement factor C5a, is investigated as a potential new drug target in the field of immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases. Tumors have been shown to produce high amounts of C5a, which, by recruiting and activating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), M2 macrophages and neutrophils, is assumed to contribute to an immune-suppressive pro-tumorigenic microenvironment. MOR210/TJ210 is intended to block the interaction between C5a and its receptor, thereby potentially neutralizing the immune suppressive function and enabling immune cells to attack the tumor.

About MorphoSys

MorphoSys (FSE &NASDAQ: MOR) is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of exceptional, innovative therapies for patients suffering from serious diseases. The focus is on cancer. Based on its leading expertise in antibody, protein and peptide technologies, MorphoSys, together with its partners, has developed and contributed to the development of more than 100 product candidates, of which 27 are currently in clinical development. In 2017, Tremfya®, marketed by Janssen for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, became the first drug based on MorphoSys' antibody technology to receive regulatory approval. In July 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval of the company's proprietary product Monjuvi® (tafasitamab-cxix) in combination with lenalidomide in patients with a certain type of lymphoma. Headquartered near Munich, Germany, the MorphoSys group, including the fully owned U.S. subsidiary MorphoSys US Inc., has ~500 employees.

More information at www.morphosys.com or MorphoSys-US.com.

Monjuvi® is a registered trademark of MorphoSys AG.

Tremfya® is a registered trademark of Janssen Biotech.

About I-Mab

I-Mab (Nasdaq: IMAB) is a dynamic, global biotech company exclusively focused on discovery, development and soon commercialization of novel or highly differentiated biologics in the therapeutic areas of immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases. The Company's mission is to bring transformational medicines to patients around the world through innovation. I-Mab's innovative pipeline of more than 10 clinical and pre-clinical stage drug candidates is driven by the Company's Fast-to-PoC (Proof-of-Concept) and Fast-to-Market development strategies through internal R&D and global partnerships. The Company is on track to transitioning from a clinical stage biotech company toward a fully integrated global biopharmaceutical company with cutting-edge R&D capabilities, world-class GMP manufacturing facility and commercial capability. I-Mab has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Maryland, United States. For more information, please visit http://ir.i-mabbiopharma.com

SOURCE: I-Mab

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