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Morphosys moves closer to getting first antibody drug on market

FRANKFURT Oct 1 German biotech Morphosys moved a step closer to getting its first antibody drug onto the market as its licensee, Johnson & Johnson unit Jenssen, reported positive results from a phase 3 study of psoriasis drug guselkumab.

Johnson & Johnson said earlier the experimental biotech drug proved more effective at clearing moderate to severe cases of the skin condition than a placebo or Abbvie's Humira, the world's top-selling prescription medicine.

A Morphosys spokesman said on Saturday that guselkumab could now become its first drug to market, depending on whether and when Johnson & Johnson makes an application.

Morphosys gets milestone payments during the development phase and would receive royalties from Johnson & Johnson once it goes on sale.

It has another drug in phase 3 study with Roche, for Alzheimer's disease, and one in phase 2 - which in this case is likely to be the final phase - with Bayer, for asbestos-related lung cancer.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan)

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