Tags: treatment | psoriasis | approved | FDA

New Treatment for Psoriasis OK'd

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Friday, 14 Jul 2017 08:51 AM

German biotech group Morphosys expects to receive royalties for its psoriasis drug guselkumab for five months this year, its Chief Executive Simon Moroney said, after its licensee received U.S. regulatory approval.

"We hope to be able to say in the near future how much the royalties will amount to," Moroney told Reuters.

Licensee Janssen Biotech, part of Johnson & Johnson, said late on Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved Tremfya, or guselkumab, to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

That brings Morophosys a step closer to launching its first antibody drug on to the market, pushing its shares as much as 9 percent higher on Friday.

"While it was largely expected, this approval marks a turning point in Morphosys' story as it prepares to receive its first royalty stream," Berenberg analysts, who recommend buying shares in Morphosys, said in a note.

They see the drug taking 15 percent of the U.S. market for moderate to severe psoriasis at the expense of Janssen's existing Stelara, of Novartis's Cosentyx and Eli Lilly's Taltz.

Morphosys has so far not yet said how much Janssen would owe it in royalties, noting only that payments would likely come to a medium single-digit percentage of sales.

Berenberg's analysts estimate that guselkumab could reach peak annual sales of about 3.2 billion euros ($3.65 billion) eventually, which would mean royalties of up to 185 million.

Morphosys' stock rose about 9 percent in early trade on Friday and was up 8 percent at 67.41 euros by 1025 GMT, hitting its highest level in almost two years.

According to CEO Moroney, royalties are not yet included in Morphosys 2017 guidance.

The group has so far said it expected its loss before interest and tax to widen to between 75 million and 85 million euros this year from about 60 million in 2016 as its costs for research and development rise.

Morphosys, founded in 1992, has more than 100 drugs in research and development, more than a dozen of which are undergoing Phase II and III clinical trials in partnership with drugmakers including Bayer, Novartis and Pfizer.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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German biotech group Morphosys expects to receive royalties for its psoriasis drug guselkumab for five months this year, its Chief Executive Simon Moroney said, after its licensee received U.S. regulatory approval. "We hope to be able to say in the near future how much the...
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