Galapagos and MorphoSys announce initiation of GECKO Phase 2 study with MOR106 in atopic dermatitis patients


Galapagos NV (Euronext & NASDAQ: GLPG), MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX; NASDAQ: MOR) and Novartis Pharma AG (SIX: NOVN-CH) announced today the initiation of GECKO, a Phase 2 study testing a subcutaneous formulation of MOR106 in combination with topical corticosteroids in patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

The GECKO trial aims to randomize 60 patients who receive either a dose of MOR106 or placebo subcutaneously for 8 weeks, together with topical steroids, with a 16 week follow-up period. The primary endpoint of GECKO is the incidence of treatment emergent adverse and serious adverse events through day 169.

Pharmacokinetics (PK) and occurrence of anti-drug-antibodies after subcutaneous administration of MOR106 will be assessed as secondary endpoints. In addition, the efficacy of MOR106 will be explored.

Recruitment will take place in the U.S. and Canada, and the study is intended to serve as an IND (investigational new drug) opener with the U.S. FDA.

"With GECKO we aim to explore the effects of the combination of MOR106 with topical steroids, the most frequently prescribed treatment for atopic dermatitis patients today," said Dr. Piet Wigerinck, Chief Scientific Officer of Galapagos. "This IND opening study extends the development program for MOR106 to the U.S. and Canada, which complements the ongoing clinical evaluations in Europe."

"Moderate to severe atopic dermatitis is a chronic, debilitating disease affecting millions of patients worldwide," said Dr. Malte Peters, Chief Development Officer of MorphoSys AG. "We see a clear unmet medical need for additional treatment options. We look forward to further expanding the development program of MOR106 for these patients with the IND opening phase 2 trial we have now initiated together with our partner Galapagos under the global licensing agreement with Novartis."


About MOR106
MOR106 was generated using MorphoSys's Ylanthia antibody platform and is based on a target discovered by Galapagos. IL-17C is a cytokine expressed preferentially in the skin and which has been implicated in dermal inflammation and shown to be distinct from other members of the IL-17 cytokine family. MOR106 is the first publicly known human monoclonal antibody directed against IL-17C in clinical development worldwide. MOR106 is an investigational drug and its safety and efficacy have not yet been established. Novartis Pharma AG owns the worldwide, exclusive license for the development and commercialization of MOR106 under an agreement with MorphoSys and Galapagos which became effective on September 10, 2018.

About MorphoSys
MorphoSys (FSE & NASDAQ: MOR) is a clinical-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 29 are currently in clinical development. In 2017, the first drug based on MorphoSys's antibody technology received regulatory approval. The Company's most advanced proprietary product candidate, MOR208, has been granted U.S. FDA breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Headquartered near Munich, Germany, the MorphoSys group, including the fully owned U.S. subsidiary MorphoSys US Inc., has approximately 330 employees. More information at

HuCAL®, HuCAL GOLD®, HuCAL PLATINUM®, CysDisplay®, RapMAT®, arYla®, Ylanthia®, 100 billion high potentials®, Slonomics®, Lanthio Pharma® and LanthioPep® are registered trademarks of the MorphoSys Group.

About Galapagos
Galapagos (Euronext & NASDAQ: GLPG) discovers and develops small molecule medicines with novel modes of action, three of which show promising patient results and are currently in late-stage development in multiple diseases. Our pipeline comprises Phase 3 through to discovery programs in inflammation, fibrosis, osteoarthritis and other indications. Our ambition is to become a leading global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines. More information at



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