MorphoSys terminates preclinical research and lays off staff

02 Mar 2023

MorphoSys terminates preclinical research and lays off staff

MorphoSys AG (Planegg near Munich, FSE: MOR; NASDAQ: MOR) is terminating all preclinical activities, at the expense of about 70 jobs. The move was justified by prioritization of advanced clinical programs and an adjustment of the cost structure to create the necessary resources for it.

In March the company announced the end of its preclinical research programs and termination of all related activities for the optimization of its cost structure. Although data from preclinical programs are promising, the company said, MorphoSys would need to invest significant resources to bring these programs through to clinical development. As a result, MorphoSys will reduce its workforce at its headquarters in Planegg by approximately 17% - equivalent to about 70 employees.

"Over the past year, we have adjusted our cost structure and focused our resources on key strategic priorities to ensure the long-term success of MorphoSys. Given the challenging market environment we operate in, we need to focus our investments on the most advanced clinical programs that will make the biggest and fastest possible difference to patients' lives," said Dr. Jean-Paul Kress, Chief Executive Officer of MorphoSys. This action, along with other steps already taken last year, will allow MorphoSys to focus on its mid- to late-stage oncology pipeline.

The late-stage oncology pipeline comprises three phase III studies, of which the MANIFEST-2 study of pelabresib in the first-line treatment of myelofibrosis is considered the most important. It will show whether the high takeover price of around one billion for the U.S. company Constellation Pharma was justified. It brought about a change of strategy for the former antibody company MorphoSys towards a broad in-house development of the small molecules purchased with the takeover and the sale of marketing rights to its own active substances.

MorphoSys is headquartered in Planegg, Germany, and conducts its business in the U.S. from Boston, Massachusetts, where the sales team for the approved compound Monjuvi operates.