PLANEGG/MUNICH (dpa-AFX) - The takeover process for the drug researcher Morphosys is going according to plan, according to the company. "We don't expect any problems," said Morphosys CEO Jean-Paul Kress on Thursday in a conference call on the occasion of the presentation of the 2023 financial statements. The manager added that the Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis is expected to publish its offer documents in April.

Novartis announced its takeover plans for Morphosys at the beginning of February. The pharmaceutical giant wants to offer 68 euros per share and thus a total of 2.7 billion euros. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of the year. Novartis then intends to delist the Bavarian biotech company from the stock exchange. Following initial regulatory approvals from Austria and Germany, the green light from the authorities in the USA is still pending. The acquisition is also subject to the condition that 65 percent of the share capital is tendered to the Swiss.

Novartis is particularly interested in Morphosys' greatest hope: The drug pelabresib against the rare cancer myelofibrosis, for which an application for approval is to be submitted in the middle of the year. Morphosys hopes to generate billions in sales with the drug./tav/mis