November 18, 2019 / 4:11 PM / 18 days ago

Morphosys to boost size of tafasitamab drug trial on encouraging interim data

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German biotech company Morphosys said more patients would be recruited for a study testing its most advanced drug against a common type of blood cancer, following an encouraging interim data readout.

An independent data monitoring committee recommended an increase in the number of patients to 450 from currently 330 in the ongoing trial named B-MIND, which tests the tafasitamab drug against relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

The efficacy data that led to the committee’s endorsement was not shared with Morphosys, the company said.

Its shares surged on the news, trading 10% higher at 1539 GMT.

The German biotech company is using proceeds from a second listing in the United States last year to build a U.S. sales force from scratch in expectation of the launch of tafasitamab, previously known as MOR208, next year.

The company suffered a recent setback when it halted development of an experimental atopic dermatitis treatment that analysts had pinned hopes of blockbuster sales potential on.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Christoph Steitz

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