Novartis Will Spend Up to More Than $1 Billion on an Eczema Candidate

The company is putting high hopes on the MorphoSys/Galapagos monoclonal antibody MOR106.

Novartis is apparently committed to expanding its dermatology pipeline. The company previously acquired the Phase II ezcema treatment ZPL389 from Ziarco in late 2016 and most recently made a deal with MorphoSys and Galapagos, buying all development and marketing rights to its IL-17C monoclonal antibody (mAb) MOR106 for $111 million upfront and up to $1 billion in additional milestone payments.

Novartis will pay for all future R&D, manufacturing and commercialization costs, but MorphoSys and Galapagos will be involved in ongoing early-stage trials, and any future trials, to support the development of MOR106 for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Novartis will also explore additional indications for MOR106 on its own. 

It has some competition, though. Pfizer has Eucrisa (crisaborole), a nonsteroidal topical medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016 for the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis in patients two years of age and older. Regenreon and Sanofi, meanwhile, have Dupixent (dupilumab), another mAb designed for the treatment of allergic diseases, such as eczema.


Emilie Branch

Emilie is responsible for strategic content development based on scientific areas of specialty for Nice Insight research articles and for assisting client content development across a range of industry channels. Prior to joining Nice Insight, Emilie worked at a strategy-based consulting firm focused on consumer ethnographic research. She also has experience as a contributing editor, and has worked as a freelance writer for a host of news and trends-related publications