July 14, 2017 / 6:22 AM / in 8 days

Morphosys jumps pre-market as FDA approves antibody drug

2 Min Read

FRANKFURT, July 14 (Reuters) - Shares in Morphosys jumped 11 percent in pre-market trade on Friday after a licensee won U.S. approval for psoriasis drug guselkumab, bringing the German biotech group a step closer to launching its first antibody drug onto the market.

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.

Guselkumab would be the first antibody developed by Morphosys to make it to the market and bring in royalties for the group.

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.

The company will receive a milestone payment in connection with the approval of guselkumab, it said late on Thursday, without being more specific.

Berenberg analysts said in April that while royalties expected from guselkumab were moderate, they believed the drug could deliver peak sales of 3.2 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in 2030, making it worth 23 euros per share in their valuation.

Shares in Morphosys were up 11 percent in pre-market trade on Friday according to brokerage Lang & Schwarz after closing at 62.44 euros on Thursday.

$1 = 0.8769 euros Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Susan Fenton

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