German biotech MorphoSys plans growth in Boston after first drug approval – Boston Business Journal

Written by Don Seiffer

A German drugmaker that opened its U.S. headquarters in Boston last fall says it plans to build a research and development hub in the area later this year after receiving its first drug approval.

MorphoSys AG announced on Friday that the FDA has approved Monjuvi, a drug to be used in combination with Celgene’s drug, Revlimid, for the treatment of relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, or DLBCL. The drug was granted accelerated approval by the FDA based on overall response rate, and will be marketed in partnership with Wilmington, Delaware-based Incyte Corp.

DLBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adults worldwide. According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, 18,000 are diagnosed with DLBCL each year in the U.S.

The company’s CEO, Jean-Paul Kress, was appointed a year ago, taking over from the company’s co-founder and CEO of 27 years. Kress was previously CEO of Boston-based Syntimmune, which was acquired by Alexion last year, and has also been an executive at Biogen and Sanofi Genzyme.

“This approval marks an important step in MorphoSys’ transformation,” Kress said in a statement. “Truly living up to the origin of our name – metamorphosis — we have transformed from a leading technology provider into a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company, mastering every step of the value chain from research through clinical development to commercialization.”

Despite being in the Boston area for less than a year, the company says it already has 141 employees based out of the Boston office: 48 at the actual office at 470 Atlantic Ave. in Boston, and 93 salespeople. The company has about 500 employees worldwide, according to a spokeswoman.

The company’s research and development organization plans to build a second global clinical development hub (aside from the one at its headquarters in Munich, Germany) at its Boston location by the end of the year. It’s now working to double its footprint at 470 Atlantic Avenue to 23,000 square feet.

The German drugmaker that opened its U.S. headquarters in Boston last fall says it plans to build a research and development hub in the area later this year after receiving its first drug approval.

Sourced from Boston Business Journal.

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